Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and 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 level. 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
- Connecting those who work to end violence
These three themes remain a key focus of DVAM events today. 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.*
In observance of this year’s DVAM, the National Latin@ Network will be offering a number of training and awareness events that will highlight the work of Latin@ organizations to end violence in our communities.
We also joined efforts with other national partners as part of the Domestic Violence Awareness Project to create the theme for this year. This year’s theme is #1Thing, which embraces the fact that any major change in culture or beginning of a powerful movement starts with just one thing. We ask you to join us in recognizing DVAM this year, and sharing your #1Thing on social media:
#1Thing that inspired me to take action to end gender-based violence
#1Thing that changed my story
#1Thing I need advocates to know
#1Thing I want my children to know
#1Thing I want to share about my community
#1Thing I do to take care of myself
#1Thing I need funders to know
#1Thing that most impacted my healing and resilience
#1Thing I wish policy makers knew
#1Thing my family could do to support my healing
#1Thing that can make our world more peaceful, equitable, and just#1Thing that can make a difference in the lives of our community’s children
Or respond to your own #1Thing
To help you raise awareness using this year’s theme, we created a bilingual social media toolkit with information and graphics that are free and openly available for you to download and share on your platforms.
CLICK HERE to access that social media kit.
*Adapted from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resource Manual of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.