Did you know that almost 20 people per minute are abused by a partner in the United States, equating to more than 10 million people per year? Or that on a usual day, more than 20,000 calls are made to domestic violence hotlines in the US? One in four women and one in seven men have been the victims of severe physical violence from a partner in their lifetime and even more shockingly, one in five children are exposed to domestic violence each year with 90% of these children witnessing the violence themsleves.
The facts, statistics and survivor stories make harrowing reading. But with the backing of many nationally recognised and local organisations, DVAM could help many victims.
Taking place throughout October as a part of the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, headed by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, this campaign is a national, recognised in law event with a range of activities conducted at local, state and national level. Originally founded by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the campaign has three themes that have remained the same since the campaigns conception in 1981.
- Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence
- Celebrating those who have survived
- Connecting those who work to end violence
With a number of calls to action from the varying organisations involved with DVAM, some inspired by the #MeToo movement, it is easy to become involved and support the campaign.
#Survivorspeaks is a concept introduced by NCAD in its aim to debunk DV myths and increase pressure on policy makers and the criminal and legal systems to make the processes involved in prosecuting offenders easier.
The DVAP have devised a similar movement with their #1thing message. The Action Guide available on the DVAP website includes templates, recommendations, strategies and tools for incorporating the #1Thing message into your campaign and to spread the message across your community.
Whichever forum you use to promote Domestic Violence Awareness month is down to you, but whatever you use is sure to help somebody, somewhere- the harrowing statistics mean the chances are you are likely to know someone who has suffered or is in need of help now.