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.
Each day in October we will post to educate, encourage and reflect on Domestic Violence awareness.