Domestic Violence Awareness Month

A- A A+

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

YWCA Greater Cincinnati, along with the Cincinnati Bengals and Game Day Communications, are asking Greater Cincinnati to

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.






Click on images above to view video messages.


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.

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.

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about the 3 D’s (direct, distract, and delegate) of bystander intervention.

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

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about services for victims.

Special thanks to our community partners:


bengals logoGa





Purple Light Walk

Join us for the 7th Annual Purple Light Walk on Friday, October 4th at Fountain Square!

The Purple Light Walk is a free annual event in the Greater Cincinnati area with the mission to raise awareness about domestic violence and to empower survivors with resources, advocacy, and community.

The resource fair starts at 5:30 which will include:
Local resources
Creative outlets
Music and dancing!

The official program will begin at 6:30 and will include:
More music and dancing
Words from sponsors

The walk is less than one mile and will begin at 7!

Get registered! 

Hamilton County Court House

October 22, 2019 – 6:30pm 

vigil logo

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. At this evening program, candles are lit for the victims who died during the year in Hamilton County.

Join us Rhinegeist Brewery on Wednesday, October 23rd. $1.00 from every sale will support our Domestic Violence Services!


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 14 to 18. Together we can end gender-based violence.
week without violence