Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed during the month of October. This month is used to bring awareness to the seriousness of domestic violence and show how many individuals are affected. This is also a month of support to the survivors that have experienced domestic violence. According to statistics, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience intimate partner violence during their lifetime. On average, about 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During a year, that comes to about 10 million women and men that are affected by violence in the home. These numbers show just how prevalent domestic violence is in the United States still today in 2020.

History of Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

Domestic Violence Awareness Month has evolved so much since it first began. It started out in 1981 as “Day of Unity”. This day was intended to connect survivors with advocates who were determined to end violence against women and children.  It then expanded to a week-long celebration rather than just a day in 1987. The goal of this week was to mourn those who did not survive domestic abuse and be there to support those who had survived. It wasn’t until two years later when Domestic Awareness Month was created into the month we have today.  In 1989, Congress officially designated October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Ways to Observe:

Education.
One major way to show your respect during this month is to educate yourself. Domestic violence is a topic that has been avoided for many years. Learning about the realities of domestic violence allows society to steer away from myths on the topic. In addition to that, being educated on the topic allows us to build awareness on domestic violence and can lead to many beneficial long-term effects in our society, such as prevention. Not only should you educate yourself, but do your part to educate others as well. Sharing real statistics and facts about domestic violence is a great way to show your support as well as minimizing myths on the topic.

Listening.
Another way of showing your respect this month is to listen to survivors tell their stories. Disclosing very personal aspects of someone’s life is something that could be very difficult and scary to do. It is important to listen to the survivor as they tell their story without judgment and to believe what they are saying. Not only that, but supporting the individual is also very important as well.

Displaying Light.
Displaying a purple light outside of your home is a great way of showing your support to those who are the victim of domestic violence. Not only that, but it is to raise awareness about domestic violence throughout the community.

Domestic violence is very tragic and affects many individuals around the world. We need to be educated on the topic to minimize the myths and false ideas about domestic violence. It is very important to listen to survivors and support them as they tell their stories. It takes a lot of courage for those who express their experiences of domestic violence.

There are many ways to show your support during the month of October for Domestic Violence Awareness. Observing during this month can look much different for everyone who shows support. There is no one way to go about it. Everyone’s support can be unique to them. The important thing is that this month of observation does get forgotten. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is something very important that needs to be recognized and supported.

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Author: Samantha Potocnik
Samantha is an intern at EVOLVE and a student at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

Resources
NCAD – Statistics
NCAD – History
National Day Calendar
The Women’s Center

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