October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and The Aurora Center hosts and co-sponsors events to educate and motivate the campus community to address this serious issue. We support the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women and the many events they host for DVAM.
Scope of the Issue
In short, relationship violence is a debilitating issue in our country and is a result of a complex societal problem of violence and its tolerance, gender inequality, racism, poverty, and homophobia, just to name a few of the many cultural and institutional sources. For victims, abuse by a partner can create anxiety, depression, confusion, and sadness. Abuse is often nonphysical and there are subtle forms of control that may lead to more severe forms of violence. It can be very difficult to leave the relationship so there are ways we can all support victims. It is in everyone’s best interests for all of us to intervene to help victims, treat abusers, advocate for more effective funding and legislation, and to prevent violence on an everyday basis.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" in October 1981 conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent 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. That same year marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. In 1989 the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.