It’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Don’t stay silent. It’s time to speak up all month long.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which first began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a Day of Unity to connect battered women’s advocates across the country.

Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes — it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It’s stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it.

Since the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994, we’ve come a long way. This landmark legislation, led by then Senator Joe Biden, combined new provisions that hold offenders accountable and provide programs and services for victims. Between 1993 and 2010, the overall rate of domestic violence dropped nearly two-thirds and state laws have reformed to address issues such as dating abuse in the workplace, stalking, employment discrimination and more.

Every October, we rededicate ourselves to breaking the cycle. Here are just a few ways that’s happening this month:

  • #VoicesHavePower: We partnered with HopeLine from Verizon to raise awareness through their #VoicesHavePower campaign through the end of October. For every message that contains the hashtag #VoicesHavePower, is submitted through the website or is texted to #94079, Verizon will donate $3 towards preventing domestic violence. Let your voice be heard and send a message right now!
  • It’s On Us: Take the pledge to keep women and men safe from sexual assault and avoid being a bystander. This simple commitment says you will recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault and will intervene in situations where consent hasn’t been given.
  • NFL and The Hotline: The National Domestic Violence Hotline, which helps service the loveisrespect peer advocate lines of communication, has helped over three million callers since it began. Now they’re teaming up with the National Football League, which will provide significant resources to meet demand for services. This means more people than ever will be able to call and receive support about their relationships.

Nearly three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Now is time to take a stand. Support survivors and speak out against domestic violence all month long.

If you need assistance or want to talk to someone about domestic violence, call 1-866-331-9474 to speak with a trained peer advocate.