October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you want to help, there are easy ways that just about anyone can get involved.
1. Understand the issue
Did you know 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime? Partner abuse is shockingly common, yet it doesn't always get the attention it deserves.
Learning more about domestic violence is the first step to taking action.
Learn common facts: Domestic violence isn't just hitting your partner and isn't limited to the home. It's much more complex.
Know the warning signs: Abusive behavior spans a wide spectrum. Do you know all the relationship red flags?
Understand the psychology of abuse: Abuse is ultimately about power and control. It helps to understand the common traits of abusers and how abuse affects victims.
2. Start conversations & raise awareness
Once you understand the issues, SPEAK UP to raise awareness on domestic violence!
Strike up a discussion with a friend or family member.
Bring prevention training and awareness programs to your organization, church, school, or other community group.
If you are a survivor, one of the most powerful things you can do is share your story. At what point did you recognize the signs? What helped you decide to leave? What helped you heal? Your story might help someone else avoid the same pain you went through.
3. Donate to help organizations that support survivors.
There are so many amazing organizations working to end domestic violence! Most are nonprofits, so they rely on caring people to support them with donations.
Shelters often need donated items like new clothes for adults and children, new underwear, food and bottled water, clean towels, personal hygiene items, and bedding. But not every organization accepts item donations, so make sure you call ahead or check on domesticshelters.org to find local shelters’ wish lists first.
4. Fundraise to help organizations that support survivors.
Anybody can raise money. All it takes is the courage to ask! Peer-to-peer fundraising means reaching out to your friends, family, classmates, coworkers, mentors, coaches, teammates, neighbors, faith community—and asking them to pitch in to your campaign to help survivors during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Technology makes it easy to set up a home base for your fundraising efforts on Facebook or on a peer-to-peer tool like Classy. They even give you tips and reminders to make sure your fundraiser is a success.
A handful of small gifts can suddenly turn into hundreds of dollars, and that money makes a huge difference to organizations supporting victims.
5. Be a political advocate.
Support efforts around Renewing the Violence Against Women Act, Expanding the definition of domestic violence to include non-physical abuse, Providing government funding for hotlines, shelters, and counseling.
Supporting low-income housing, SNAP (food stamps), childcare vouchers, civil legal services, unemployment assistance, and other programs that survivors depend on to get a foothold.
Support efforts around keeping guns out of the hands of known abusers.
***Information and resources from Live Your Dream Org.