I Wear Purple: DVAM

“If we are to fight discrimination and injustice against women we must start from the home for if a woman cannot be safe in her own house then she cannot be expected to feel safe anywhere.” - Aysha Taryam

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Before there was a DVAM, there was the ‘Day of Unity’ (1981), which was started by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. A day turned into a week, a week turned into a month. The first DVAM was held in 1987 and in 1989 Congress passed legislation designating October of that year to be National Domestic Violence Awareness Month; the legislation has passed every year since.

The Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP) is a collaborative effort between the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Futures Without Violence, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Launched in 1995, this initiative heads the effort to increase awareness, provide support and educate the nation during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Week of Action - October 15 - 21, 2017

Action: Conversation Sunday - Have conversations about domestic violence with friends, family members, neighbors, or colleagues.

Reflection: People are more willing than expected to discuss the subject of domestic violence and share stories. Sometimes initiating conversation about the topic more broadly can lead to talking about specific statistics, experiences, and debunking of myths. Other times, domestic violence is in the background of a story, and we have to decide how to address it depending on the circumstance and relationship.

Action: Media Monday - Check out the Tech Safety App. Share the NNEDV #31n31 campaign on social media.

Reflection: The Tech Safety App website is easy to use and has information and resources useful for everyone. The website gives you tools and insight related to location settings on devices, impersonation, online safety and even tips for knowing when an interaction becomes harassment. I had been sharing this year’s Domestic Violence Dictionary from NNEDV since October 1. For this action item, I shared items from the campaigns of past years as well as original posts. I searched the #DVAM2017 and while plenty of organizations were posting, I was a bit disappointed that more individuals weren't (from what I could tell).

Action: Twitter Chat Tuesday - Join the bilingual (English & Spanish) Twitter chat from 2-3 PM (ET). The discussion topic is #Safety4Survivors.

Reflection: This Twitter chat was inspiring and insightful. Organizations and individuals tweeted out answers to questions asked by NNEDV as well as resources, stories and hopeful quotes. I participated in the discussion by sending out infographics and images with calls to action. I even got retweeted a few times! While, I did not participate in the question and answer portion, I did follow the thread for the entire hour. 

Action: Write-In Wednesday – Sign-on to the NNEDV Action Alert or write a letter to the editor.

Reflection: The NNEDV Action Alert  gives information on upcoming policy decisions/debates that the organization deems central to domestic violence awareness and prevention. While you are prompted to take action by signing a petition or showing support for or against a proposal, you do not have to. The Action Alert is a way to know what is on, but is a bit political. 

Action: Purple Thursday – Wear purple to show support for survivors and champion an end to domestic violence.

Reflection: I wore purple! This was actually harder than I thought, because it turns out I don't own purple clothes. I did buy a pack of purple ribbon stickers and was able to find purple items in closets that weren't mine though. I used social media to spread the word about wearing purple and shared my stickers with other students on campus. I even gave a speech on Domestic Violence Awareness Week for my public speaking class assignment dressed in purple and gave stickers to my peers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    

The week isn't over yet. Show your support by participating in one of the final two action days.

Action: Film Friday – Host a #DVMovieNight or watch a movie with DV themes on your own. NNEDV has a Pinterest board with ideas of what to watch.

Action: Shout-Out Saturday – Celebrate the people you admire who speak out for survivors and use their voices to make a difference.