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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in
October, 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to
connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence
against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a
range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels.
These activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common
themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those
who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.
In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same
year the first national toll-free hotline was begun. 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.

The purple ribbon campaign: Across the country, families and friends of victims of domestic
violence have adopted the purple ribbon to honor loved ones who have lost their lives at the hands
of someone they loved and trusted. The display of purple ribbons conveys a powerful message
that there is no place for domestic violence in the homes, neighborhoods, schools, or workplaces
in our community.

Talk to your family: Open communication about domestic violence, including appropriate
behavior and boundaries, especially when dating, and what to do if you experience any type of
behavior outside of these boundaries is important.

Speak up: If you have reason to suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic violence--do
not ignore it. Should you witness abuse, whether it is someone you know or a complete stranger,
call the police immediately. If you know someone who is a perpetrator, let him or her know it is a
crime. Explain you strongly disapprove of their behavior and encourage him or her to get help.


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