October is a month of awareness, however despite having the month be designated as a day of awareness for all of the needed causes many are overshadowed by the overflowing pink of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Of course the fight against Breast Cancer is worthy of a whole month, and a whole year to be frank. Nonetheless there are other causes that are needlessly causing millions of women and children to suffer, which often go over looked due to the bright spotlight , also home to a few lesser-known awareness initiatives, such as and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the significant achievements we have made in reducing domestic violence in America, and we recommit ourselves to the important work still before us. Despite tremendous progress, an average of three women in America dies as a result of domestic violence each day. One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. These statistics are even more sobering when we consider that domestic violence often goes unreported. (Read the full proclamation by President Obama by accessing the link here).
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from what was first called the “Day of Unity”, established in October 1981, by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The objective, of the then day, was to ‘connect advocates across the nation working to end violence against women and their children’. The Day of Unity quickly developed in to an awareness week and in October1987; the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year the first national toll-free domestic violence hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233),was also established. In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress. Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort.
“In October 1994 NCADV, in conjunction with Ms. Magazine, created the ‘Remember My Name’ project, a national registry to increase public awareness of domestic violence deaths,” the NCADV stated. “Since then, NCADV has been collecting information on women who have been killed by an intimate partner and produces a poster each October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, listing the names of those documented in that year.”
The overshadowing effect of Breast Cancer Awareness Month has many now suggesting that other awareness days be moved from October to another month where they can truly find themselves in the center of the spotlight and give true justice to all they serve to protect and support. Read NCADV’s information about the suggestion of moving DVAM from October to another month.
Signs of Domestic Abuse by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (Not an inclusive list)
- Various injuries attributed to a “fall” or “accident”
- Clothing that doesn’t match the season (long sleeves in the summer); wearing heavy make-up or accessories that seem unusual
- References to her partner’s bad moods or temper
- Breaking appointments at the last minute or simply not showing up
- Being late or absent from work or quitting her job unexpectedly
- Speaking of her partner as if he’s significantly more important than she is
Do more to help, click here for the 2011 DVAM Campaign in a Box!