October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the month evolved from a single day, the "Day of Unity" in October 1981. It was organized by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to connect groups that worked to end violence against women and children. The first observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month took place in October 1987, and two years later in 1989, Congress passed a law designating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, that same year the first national toll-free hotline begun. As a prevention specialist from EVE Inc., a 24-hour domestic violence shelter and sexual assault hotline, I find it very important for the community to recognize this month's significance.
According to nomore.org/, in one year alone 12.7 million men and women in the U.S. are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners. That is approximately the number of people in New York City and Los Angeles combined, 24 people every minute. These are people we know. It is time to end the silence and shame for good. Like the peace sign, the yellow "support our troops" ribbon, or the red AIDS ribbon, the goal of NO MORE is to raise visibility for these issues, challenging the stigma that surrounds them, and taking the first step toward broader social change. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence supports the NO MORE project and we encourage you to check them out online at www.nomore.org.
EVE offers many resources to those affected by domestic violence including counseling, shelter, and advocacy. EVE's services are all free and available for both men and women. EVE's Prevention Specialist also offers The Safe Dates Curriculum, a teen dating abuse prevention tool to all schools in Washington County. The 24-hour toll free hotline number is 1-800-974-3111.
Lashley Earley, prevention specialist