October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) started as a "Day of Unity" held in October 1981. The Day of Unity was started by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The reason for the special day was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week with a range of activities held at the local, state, and national level.
The activities were as different as the program sponsors but had common themes:
- Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence
- Celebrating those who have survived
- Connecting people who work to end violence
These three themes are still a focus of DVAM events today.
In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. The first national domestic violence toll-free hotline also started in 1987: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed a law to make October National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The legislation has passed every year since 1989. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
More to read: Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking,
please contact the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV), or your local shelter,
call the Kansas Crisis Hotline 888-363-2287