Guest Author - Kelli Deister
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. During the month, in most communities, there are events geared toward awareness and prevention of abuse and domestic violence. For example, in Hawaii there is a menís march, as well as silent marches in honor of those that lost their lives to domestic violence. There is also a candlelight vigil that honors the victims that died during the past year. Other events taking place are geared towards educating the general public on issues pertaining to domestic violence and abuse.
I want to urge my readers to become actively involved during the month of October. There are several things that you can do to help with awareness. It is my opinion that awareness equals prevention. The more our society becomes aware of domestic violence, the more we can work towards prevention.
You may be wondering how you can get actively involved during the month of October. Please consider locating the agencies in your community that deal with victims of abuse. These agencies are always looking for volunteers, as well as donations of any kind. During events, perhaps you can volunteer your time with helping to hand out flyers with facts and statistics on them. There may also be flyers with listings of resources in your community.
You might want to donate clothing, toiletries, shoes etc. to abuse shelters. Many times the women and children that flee an abusive relationship will show up at the shelters with nothing more than the clothing that they are wearing. They are in desperate need of clothes, shoes, shampoos, soaps etc. You might also want to donate books and games for the children. Another donation to be considered would be gifts for birthdays and Christmas for the children.
If you are unable to donate items, please consider donating your time. There are most assuredly repairs needed to be done in the shelters. They may need some painting done as well. Another way to donate time would be to help with transportation for the victims to their appointments while in the shelter.
There is much to be done in the month of October as far as raising awareness to the tragedy of domestic violence. Please consider volunteering your time or resources in order to help the children and their mothers.