It’s that time of year again: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)!
This month is a really important reminder for people across the country to focus on preventing and ending domestic violence in their communities. You might be asking, “Why should I care about domestic violence? Does it even affect me?”
Here are the facts:
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men over the age of 18 in the U.S. will be affected by domestic violence in their lifetimes.
- 1 in 3 teens has experienced some form of abuse in a dating relationship, and nearly half of dating college women report experiencing violent or abusive dating relationships.
- Domestic violence and dating abuse don’t discriminate; abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation or religion.
So chances are, if you have not experienced abuse in your own relationships, someone you know has. No one deserves to be abused, ever, for any reason. That’s why it’s important for all of us to get involved, raise awareness and speak out in support of victims and survivors during DVAM!
What can you do this month – and in your daily life – to help end domestic violence and support survivors? Here are a few ideas:
- Be nonviolent and non-judgmental in your interactions with others.
- Challenge attitudes and beliefs that promote a culture of violence and victim-blaming or shaming.
- In personal situations, hold the abusive person, not the victim, accountable for their abusive behaviors.
- Learn how to support a friend or loved one if they tell you they are being abused. Let them know about loveisrespect if they are ready to get help!
- Donate requested or needed items to your local domestic violence program or shelter.
- Distribute materials about dating abuse in your school, on your campus or in your community.
- Purchase purple accessories from Verizon to benefit the National Domestic Violence Hotline, or donate your old cell phone to Verizon HopeLine and help Verizon give 1 million phones to domestic violence survivors in 2015.
- Participate in Russell Wilson’s #PassthePeace campaign, benefiting the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Need support for yourself or a friend? Loveisrespect advocates are here 24/7! Call, chat or text with us any time.