By the loveisrespect National Youth Advisory Board
If you’re in high school, you’re in a great position to raise awareness about abuse and start making a difference during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! You can be a voice for young people at your school or in your community in a variety of ways.
Create a Group
If your school doesn’t have a group that works to promote healthy relationships and prevent abuse, consider creating one yourself! You can either work with your school’s administration to form a group or create one outside of school. You might think about reaching out to local organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention or provide shelter for people who experience it, and see if they are willing to work with you. Those organizations could help you organize successful events through advice or other forms of support. You can also contact your state’s domestic violence coalition or a teen-focused organization for more resources and information.
If you don’t want to create your own group, consider volunteering for a local organization that works with domestic violence survivors. DVAM is a nationally-recognized awareness month, so many local domestic violence programs are working to raise awareness, and some may host events during October. They can always use a little help and often are looking for ways to include young people since they know that domestic violence affects everyone.
If you want to do something right now to prevent domestic violence, these things can be accomplished by just you and a group of your friends:
Whether you live in a city or a small town, many local establishments (think coffee shops, juice bars, cafes, restaurants, gyms, apartment complexes, etc.) are open to helping community members raise awareness about various events. Try going to locally-owned places and talking to the managers or staff about Domestic Violence Awareness Month. See if there are ways you can work together to raise awareness among their customers or clients. Many places have community message boards, so you could create a flyer to post with information about DVAM and the numbers to local and national resources. You can also go to public spaces like parks and write awareness messaging with chalk on the sidewalks. The messages can be anything from statistics to catchy phrases that draw people’s attention.
Use the Color Purple
Purple is the awareness color for domestic violence, and using this color is a great way to raise awareness. You can put purple yarn on people’s wrists, wear purple and convince others to as well. Decorate the school’s halls (with permission) with purple streamers or construction paper. Get your whole school or town involved! Talk to your dentist, doctor, family, friends and teachers about going purple for DVAM. Don’t forget, National Wear Purple Day is Oct. 20, so you can post your pictures to social media using #PurpleThursday. This is a great way to create a community that stands up against domestic violence!
Another easy way to raise awareness is through social media. Dedicate a post to Domestic Violence Awareness Month on your Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr. Write a message of support and love for survivors and spread the word to your peers on the platform most comfortable to you. Use the hashtag #DVAM2016 to include your voice in the conversation!
How are you raising awareness during DVAM? Share with us in the comments!