September 20, 2008

Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it's history

With Domestic Violence Awareness Month just around the corner I thought maybe some would like to know how this month came about.  Many often say that everything has a month and well DV gets October....there is a little more to it than that. 

Yes, we should all be thinking of Awareness and Advocacy throughout the year; however this is the one month of the year that everyone can also come together to remember those that have been touched by domestic violence in one way or another.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) held the first ever Day of Unity in October 1981.  I do not know, nor can I find why they picked one day in the month of October, but this day is what started it all.  The Day of Unity was intended to represent the unity of advocates working for victims of domestic violence across the United States. 

The Day of Unity eventually became a week-long recognition of:

bd14942_ advocates who were committed to the prevention of domestic violence,

bd14942_remembrance of the women and children killed because of domestic violence, and

bd14942_ the recognition and celebration of those who survived domestic violence.

The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was October 1987.  The goal was to coordinate efforts nationwide to educate communities about domestic violence, the effects on community and the resources available to help survivors. That first national toll-free hotline began that same year.

In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the United States Congress.  Since Domestic Violence Awareness Month’s enactment, State Legislatures across the nation have done the same as well.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is also a time to encourage the public to take active steps to address domestic violence. The hope is that a month of intensified awareness efforts combined with the broad spectrum of anti-domestic violence work throughout the year will bring us closer to ending domestic violence.

So what are you going to do this year?

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