October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The important observance has connected survivors, advocates, and organizations for the past thirty years. Learn more about why domestic violence awareness month matters and how to get involved.
What is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) was first launched in October 1981 as a national “Day of Unity.” From there it evolved into a month-long awareness campaign.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, this month grew as advocates and survivors held activities “mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.”
October is a chance for everyone to stand together to help end domestic violence.
Domestic violence affects millions of Americans, with consequences including injury, fear, and safety concerns. In the United States, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence or IPV, can include:
- Physical violence
- Sexual abuse and rape
- Economic abuse
- Reproductive coercion
DVAM provides an opportunity for advocates to band together to raise awareness for this important issue, helping individuals understand how to recognize domestic violence and learn what they can do to help stop it.
What Can I Do to Get Involved?
Interested in joining the fight to help end domestic violence in October and beyond? There are some important steps you can take to help support the cause this Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
- Donate to and support organizations like the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence or the Domestic Violence Awareness Project.
- Get informed on topics surrounding domestic violence with resources like The National Domestic Violence Hotline or Mandated Reporter’s blog.
- Raise awareness by sharing what you’re doing to help stop domestic violence on social media. You can use hashtags like #1Thing, #WeAreResilient, and #NDVAM2022.
- Volunteer for a local shelter or other organization helping to support survivors and prevent domestic violence.
Am I a Mandated Reporter of Domestic Violence?
Certain states have laws in place requiring relevant professionals to report incidents that could be connected to domestic violence, such as injuries like burns or gunshot wounds. Knowing if you are required to report domestic violence and getting training so you can respond appropriately can help keep everyone involved safe. Enter your state here to learn more.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a call to action to raise awareness of the horrifying reality of domestic violence and what we can all do to help prevent it. If you need help in a domestic violence situation, reach out to The Hotline online, call them at 1.800.799.7233, or text 88788.