Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
October marks the month of National Domestic Violence Awareness. It began in 1987 sprouting from the National Day of Unity sponsored from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The first events were week long and intended for people who work with domestic violence victims and families to network with each other. In 1989, Congress made it a National Month of observance. Now throughout America, each state has a state level Coalition that breaks down into smaller local organizations in each state. During 1989, the National Domestic Violence Hotline was also open for calls!
If you are uncertain if there are activities scheduled for your area, check each states coalition site for a list of activities. These can be found here. If you have the ways and means, and there isn't going to be anything for your area, you can host a simple candlelight vigil at a local area park for survivors and those who have died at the hands of their abusers. Contacting local businesses in the area of your intent could help you get donations for candles and candle holders. Churches are a good resource as well.
Volunteering at a homeless shelter that takes in battered women and men with their children could make a world of difference in the lives of them. I stayed in a homeless shelter for 4 months and I always looked forward to the days when the volunteers would come. Just having someone to talk to really helped.
There are so many things you can do not only this month, but all through the year to help bring awareness to the community or to help those affected abuse:
- The US Government has created something called Toolkit To End Violence Against Women. This provides information for an array of people working to end violence.
- Donate your old cell phone to help domestic violence victims.
- Donate to a Domestic Violence Charity
- The YWCA has several activities planned around the country to bring people together.
As I have said many times before, it is a shame in our time we still see so much domestic violence. We hear parents teach there children not to hit other people or do harm to another human being yet many of those parents perpetuate violence in their own homes. We need to start becoming aware of what we are teaching our children. We have the power to end violence in our own homes.