By Catherine Casey
SC Contributing Writer
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It evolved from the first Day of Unity observed on October, 1981 by the National Coalition against Domestic Violence.
The intent of the Day of Unity was to connect battered women advocates from across the United States who were working to end violence against women and their children.
It soon became a special week, and a range of activities was conducted at the local, state, and national levels.
Some common themes in The Day of Unity activities were mourning those who had died, celebrating those who had survived, and connecting those who worked to end domestic violence.
In October of 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. The first national toll-free hotline for help also began in that same year.
The Day of Unity is still celebrated on the first Monday of October to raise awareness about domestic violence.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) website, domestic violence is “willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.”
Some people do not realize the statistics of how many people, both women and men, are victims of domestic violence.
NCADV reports that, in the United States, 20 people are made victims of physical violence by an intimate partner every minute. This equates to more than ten million women and men per year.
One in three women and one in four men will experience some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Intimate partner violence is most common among women between ages 18 to 24, and this accounts for about 15 percent of all violent crime.
In a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
There are places that victims of domestic violence can reach out to and receive help. NCADV has a hotline that operates at all times. The national hotline that victims can call is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
The Women’s Resource Center of Monroe County is another safe resource for victims. The center offers a crisis hotline that people can call to seek help or just to talk to someone.
The center offers counseling services, as well as a crisis shelter for victims and their children to escape from their abusers. All services are free and confidential.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, please know you are not alone. There are places that you can receive help.
If a friend or relative is a victim of domestic violence, please encourage him or her to seek help and let him or her know that you are there providing support.
In this month of October, please wear the color purple to help raise awareness against Domestic Violence.
Email Catherine at: