Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Men's Health, Women's Health

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By: Aria Gray MPH: Maternal and Child Health candidate 2017

What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It can include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. Domestic violence affects individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, or other demographic factors. However, domestic violence is most commonly experienced by  women between the ages of 18-24.

Domestic violence is preventable. Part of domestic violence prevention includes talking about this issue and reducing the stigma associated with it as a community. While all of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the National Network to End Domestic Violence is hosting a week of action from October 16-October 22.

Here are some ways that you can get involved during the week of action and throughout all of October. You can also search for events that may be happening in your community with local organizations.

  • Wear purple for #PurpleThursday on Thursday October 20
  • Speak Out: Talk with a friend, family member, or colleague about domestic violence to help eliminate stigma and show survivors that they are supported.
  • Follow the National Network to End Domestic Violence on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and change

For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.

  • clueckin

    I had no idea the 18-24 year old, female demographic has the highest rate of domestic violence. While sexual assault has received a lot of press and attention, the seemingly overarching topic of domestic violence seems to be missing from that equation. It seems that the awareness raised in October could be tacked on to, and would benefit, the bigger, national conversation about sexual assault.

  • shaunalayres

    I appreciate you bring awareness to domestic violence. I think one reason it is not talked about more is because of it's complexity. Violent coping mechanisms are typically learned in early childhood via social modeling. While lower SES populations tend to have higher DV rates, it is not isolated to that populations. DV transcends race, age, gender, income, faith, education, etc. It's important to remember that both the perpetrator and the victim have psychological issues to address in order to end DV. DV is a serious public health issue that warrants more attention and open conversation if rates are to decline.