By: William Wubbenhorst, Associate Commissioner for the Family and Youth Services Bureau
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). For more than 30 years, advocates, survivors, their loved ones, and their communities have come together in support of stopping domestic violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 23 % of U.S. women and 14% of U.S. men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime. Similarly, 47% of both men and women will be the victim of psychological aggression by an intimate partner. Many victims of domestic violence suffer abuse before the age of 18. One in five tweens knows someone who is a victim of dating violence. The need for education and awareness of these disturbing facts continues.
This October, the #1Thing DVAM Campaign wants you to think of #1Thing you can do to raise awareness of domestic violence. The Campaign is funded through ACF’s Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) Program in the Family & Youth Services Bureau. FVPSA funds programs that provide immediate shelter and supportive services for individuals and their dependents experiencing domestic or dating violence, including free and confidential help through the National Domestic Violence Hotline. FVPSA’s national network of resource centers and culturally specific institutes, and state domestic violence coalitions, offer technical assistance and training related to domestic and dating violence to local public agencies, non-profits, tribal organizations, and government agencies.
Research shows that people’s involvement in community organizations strengthens the community. It can help to improve the quality of the physical setting, enhance services, prevent crime, and improve social conditions. Participating in awareness-raising activities helps people feel that they are part of something bigger, and that they are helping to shift the culture.
Our DVAM fact sheet offers concrete ways to get involved in efforts to end domestic violence. The #1Thing that will end domestic violence is our collective power. Follow the #1Thing hashtag on social media and join us in raising your voice to say NO MORE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!