Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), created by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, began as a single “Day of Unity” in 1981. By October 1987, the first full DVAM was observed: the same year, the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline was launched. In 1989, the U.S. Congress officially designated October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Now, each October, people across the nation participate in DVAM in an effort to honor survivors, celebrate their strength and connect advocates to others working toward change.
Here are some ways that you can get involved and make a difference this October:
- Find a local shelter and get involved. There are tools available online that allow you to search your area for shelters. Many shelters are in need of donations and volunteers – by checking your local shelter’s website or calling to see what you can do, you can make a direct, positive impact on the survivors in your community. Visit the Genesis Hub to learn about the different volunteer opportunities Genesis is offering during the pandemic and how you can safely get involved from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re interested in preparing a meal for our clients or helping out with our upcoming holiday program, we have options to match your passion, skills and interests.
- Wear purple on Thursday, October 22 for #PurpleThursday. Purple is the official color of DVAM. If everyone participating in DVAM wears purple, we can show survivors that there is a community of support surrounding them and fighting for them. We also encourage you to take a picture in your shirt and post it to social media with a fact about domestic violence and the hashtags #PurpleThursday.
- Help us spread the word! Whether you’re a part of a corporation or a book club, you can make a difference and join us in our mission. Consider inviting Genesis to your workplace to give a virtual presentation on domestic violence, or have your staff or coworkers participate in an Amazon Wish List donation drive! We also have resources available online that you can share with family and friends if you’re unsure about what to do. Remember: you don’t have to be the expert, because we are.
No matter how you get involved this October – whether it’s wearing a purple shirt, educating yourself or volunteering your time – Domestic Violence Awareness Month is all about unity and showing survivors that they are not alone, and that there is help and hope.
Written by Amy Ridings, director of communications at Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support