Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the Day of Unity conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in October 1981. The goal 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 devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state and national levels.

The activities conducted 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, and the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline was established. In 1989, Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since.

— Adapted from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resource Manual of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence by the Domestic Violence Awareness Project.

YWCA Domestic Violence Awareness Month Events

Check back often for updates!

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She Screams Without Sound was established in 1988, when more than 20 Hamilton County women were killed by their intimate partners. Alarmed by the devastating number of victims, employees of Women Helping Women and the YWCA decided to do something to raise awareness in the community and in the Hamilton County court system.

A candlelight vigil memorial has been held every October since 1988 during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to honor the victims, both known and unknown. We celebrate the lives of those who have survived domestic violence, and we provide support and hope to children exposed to violence and loss.

2021 Date TBD




For the 4th year, the Cincinnati Bengals are teaming up with YWCA Greater Cincinnati to raise awareness about Domestic Violence.


Player Kevin Huber and announcer and former player Dave Lapham are lending their names to this cause.

Thanks to our partners at the Cincinnati Bengals!

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Purple is the color representing Domestic Violence. In 2020, our amazing partners in the city of Cincinnati helped us raise awareness by lighting the city purple.

Sunday, October 25th-Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 our partners at Duke Energy Convention Center illuminated the iconic CINCINNATI sign purple.

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Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 the city of Cincinnati lit up the Genius of Water on Fountain Square purple.

Thanks to our amazing local partners for helping raise awareness during this month!


Thanks to our friends at the Cincinnati Reds, all season spectators will see our bystander message (click on image below) featuring All Star Jesse Winker on the scoreboard. Our messaging will also be aired during radio broadcasts.


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1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience domestic violence. These are our friends, sisters, brothers, and neighbors. We can all do something to help prevent domestic violence.


Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another person in an intimate relationship. Warning signs of domestic violence you might see include:

  • Someone acting really jealous of their partner, like going through their phone or social media, questioning their whereabouts, accusing them of cheating, or not letting them wear certain clothes.
  • Someone isolating their partner by not letting them go places, making them check-in about where they are, telling them they can’t spend time with certain people, refusing to watch children, to trying to drive family members and friends away.
  • Someone emotionally hurting their partner by putting them down, calling them names, minimizing or denying abuse, trying to embarrass them in front of other people, or blaming them for the violence.
  • Someone intimidating their partner by yelling, cursing, throwing things, or damaging property.
  • Someone controlling all the money by not letting their partner work, not letting them spend money, taking their money, putting them on an allowance, or questioning every purchase.
  • Someone physically hurting their partner by pushing, hitting, kicking, pulling hair, grabbing wrists, or choking.

CLICK HERE to learn more about abuse warning signs.

CLICK HERE to learn more about teen dating violence

CLICK HERE to learn more about women of color and domestic violence.

CLICK HERE to learn more about abuse in LGBTQ relationships.

CLICK HERE to learn more about men’s experiences of domestic violence.


Sometimes it can be hard to intervene when you see one of these warning signs. You might be worried the violence could turn on you, that you’ll ruin a relationship with a couple you care about, or that you might be embarrassed if it doesn’t go well when you do intervene. The good news is that you have lots of options. No matter what makes it hard for you, there’s almost always something you can try.

You can try being direct by saying things like:

  • “That’s not okay”
  • “I’m worried about you”
  • “Is everything alright here?”
  • “Do you need help?”
  • “Stop that”

You could also try creating a distraction to prevent violence from happening or keep the situation from getting worse:

  • Change the subject.
  • Create an excuse to get the person out of the room.
  • Ask for help finding your phone or keys.
  • Spill a drink.
  • Ask for directions.

If you don’t want to say something or create a distraction, you can always delegate by asking someone else to do something:

  • Ask a friend or family member if they would be willing to say something.
  • Ask a server, bartender, cashier, or someone else to do something if you see a warning sign in a public place.
  • Ask someone nearby, “do you think everything looks alright there?”
  • Call security or the police if the situation appears high-risk.

CLICK HERE to learn more about intervening to stop domestic violence.

You also don’t have to wait for a warning sign to do something. There are proactive things you can do every day to make it less likely domestic violence will happen in our community:

  • Talk with young people in your life about healthy relationships or dating violence.
  • Ask your faith leader to address domestic violence during a service.
  • Post your values about the issue on social media.
  • Support victim services by volunteering your time or making a donation.
  • Wear a purple ribbon to show you care about domestic violence.
  • Hang a flyer or poster in your office.

If anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the YWCA hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Call:
    513-872-9259 in Hamilton County
    513-753-7281 in Clermont, Brown, and Adams counties
  • Text:
  • Chat:

CLICK HERE to learn more about services for survivors.


What is Week Without Violence?

Week Without Violence is part of a global movement to end violence against women and girls with YWCAs across the country and around the world. At YWCA, we know that not all violence is acknowledged or responded to equally. That’s why, for more than 20 years, YWCA has set aside one week in October as a Week Without Violence. Join us from October 18 to 23. Together we can end gender-based violence.
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