29 September 2009

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is October

With October quickly approaching, I felt the need to write something about what that month is in terms of awareness months.  Many of you may already know that October is the month set aside as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).  But for those of you who don't, or those that do and are unsure of what you can do this month; this post is for you.

First lets talk about a little history of how this month came to be.  In October 1981 the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) observed what was then called "A Day of Unity"; with the intention of connecting advocates around the US who were working to end violence against women and their kids.  This "Day of Unity" eventually became a week long advocacy week which was devoted to different activities at the national, state and local levels.  The activities were focused on mourning those who were killed by DV, celebrating those that had survived DV and still connecting and sharing with those that were advocates.

In 1987, "The Day of Unity" became a month long awareness campaign and designated DVAM as October.  The year 1987 also marks the beginning of the first natioanl DV hotline.  In 1989, Public Law 101-112, passed by the US Congress, desginated October of that year as National DVAM; legislation to this effect has passed every year since then.  The "Day of Unity" is now celebrated as the first Monday of DVAM.

Now, that you know a small protion of how this month became known to us as DVAM, let's take a look at what you can do to celebrate this month.  People all over the US do this in many different ways.  Some hold candle light vigils for those that have died during the past year due to domestic violence.  Some encourage everyone to put pruple ribbons (the DV awareness color is purple) around their homes, cars, businesses, etc to show that they are against DV in all of its forms.  Regardless of how you show your support this month, it is greatly needed!

One way that you can get involved is by contacting your local DV Agency and asking what they have planned and then volunteering to help with activities or simply just attending those activities.  If you aren't so sure you are ready to go public with your stance against DV, write a blog article about it and have it posted for you under a different name.

For more ideas do a search online for DVAM activities, or visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.

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