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 DVAM Events
For details, see the tabs below.
- 10/4: Clermont County Proclamation
- 10/16-20: Week Without Violence is a national YWCA event to draw awareness to our work to end gender-based violence. Watch for our social media video campaign.
- Thursday 10/19: Wear PURPLE for National Purple Thursday!
- Tuesday, 10/24, 6:15 p.m.: She Screams Without Sound Public Candlelight Vigil Hamilton County Courthouse.
- TBD: soHza Circle event. 20% of proceeds from sales in shop donated to the YWCA. Start your holiday shopping at 610 Main Street, Covington!
- Candlelight Vigil
- Cincinnati Honors DVAM
- Clermont County Proclamation
- Hamilton County Honors DVAM
- See Something, Do Something Campaign
- Week Without Violence
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.
Hamilton County Courthouse
Purple is the color representing Domestic Violence. Each year, our amazing partners at the Duke Energy Convention Center light up the CINCINNATI icon sign for the She Screams Without Sound Candlelight Vigil. This year, the sign will be illuminated on Tuesday, October 24th.
Thanks to our amazing local partners for helping raise awareness during this month!
Each year, Clermont County Board of County Commissioners present a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year, the date of the proclamation is Wednesday, October 4th at 10 am at the Clermont County Commissioner’s Office.
Commissioner David Painter, pictured on right, read a past proclamation, which was presented to Stephanie Shoe, pictured on left, intervention coordinator at the YWCA.
We are grateful for the county’s support of this important event.
On October 6, 2022, the Hamilton County Commissioners dedicated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a Proclamation.
The Hamilton County Courthouse was illuminated purple during the month of October in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
SEE SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING.
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.
513-872-9259 in Hamilton County
513-753-7281 in Clermont, Brown, and Adams counties
CLICK HERE to learn more about services for survivors.
What is Week Without Violence?
KNOW THE FACTS. Educate yourself and those around you about domestic violence and gender-based violence.
- Every 90 seconds another American is sexually assaulted, and only half are reported to the police.
- Foodservice and hospitality workers report the highest levels of sexual harassment in the workplace and often have the least amount of employment protection.
- 1 of every 4 homeless women is homeless because of violence committed against her and over 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse during their lifetime
- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence and, on average, more than 3 women are murdered by their current or former partners in the United States every day.
…and these are just a few. At YWCA Greater Cincinnati, we are firm believers in knowledge being the first step to change, so get to know the facts.
ELIMINATING HARMFUL QUESTIONS. One of the first questions that a victim of domestic violence is asked is: “Why did you stay?” This question is asked by law enforcement, judges, family, and friends. The assumption is that she stayed by choice and that she must take responsibility for enduring abuse at the hands of her perpetrator. Asking why she stays, however, detracts from holding perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions. Additionally, it doesn’t take into account the numerous cultural and systemic barriers that prevent victims of domestic violence from leaving their abusers.
We believe and support survivors first.
HAVING CONVERSATIONS WITH TEENS ABOUT HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS. Domestic Violence (DV) and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) can start at a young age, and in multiple ways. By fueling our youth with tools to notice the signs of violence, whether at home, with a friend, or in public spaces, we are reducing the occurrence of violence and preventing its harmful and long-lasting effects on individuals, their families, and the communities where they live. During the pre-teen and teen years, it is critical for youth to begin learning the skills needed to create and maintain healthy relationships so that they may carry those skills into adulthood.
TAKE CARE. Service providers, advocates, and activists in the fight to end violence all care deeply about these issues, and about the survivors that they help each and every day. Unfortunately, this work can also cause vicarious trauma for individuals as they work with survivors who have undergone serious trauma or can retraumatize individuals who are survivors themselves. Taking the time to engage in healing and self-care as a provider, advocate, activist, or survivor is an integral part of your own mental and physical well-being and will help make you an even more powerful advocate for your causes and clients.