October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
History:

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national level. In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
 —Adapted from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resource Manual of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Facts:
1987 was the first year of honoring victims, survivors and their families by celebrating Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The cost of intimate partner violence annually exceeds $5.8 billion, including $4.1 billion in direct health care expenses.

Women age 20-24 are at greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence and highest rates of rape and sexual assault.

Men experience 2.9 million intimate partner related physical attacks each year.

For more general information about domestic violence, including potential warning signs for emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s information page

 10 ways you can Take Action:
1. Join a local organization that supports victims & survivors.
2. Volunteer at a shelter for victims of domestic abuse.
3. Contact your local shelter to find out their most needed donation items and start a donation drive in your community.
4. Learn about mandated reporting, what it means and who it effects.
5. Raise awareness about domestic violence by wearing a purple ribbon and starting a conversation.
6. Learn how to recognize domestic abuse.
7. Know the facts and share them with others.
8. Teens: take the “Cool, Not Cool” online quiz to learn about digital dating abuse.
9. Write to your local legislative representative about the issue and urge them to work to support victims and survivors.
10. Wear purple on “Wear Purple Day” on October 15 in honor and support of victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Resources:
San Diego Domestic Violence Council
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Awareness Project
Futures Without Violence
Presidential Proclamation on Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2015
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