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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

“When it comes to abuse, you believe there’s no way out. There is always help. There is always a way out.” -Rev. Donna Mulvey


This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It was first recognized in October 1989. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men”. Also, “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.” These statistics paint a grim picture and prove that domestic violence cannot be ignored in our society.  

There are many things that communities around the United States do to observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One of these nationally-recognized events is Purple Thursday. It is on October 19th, 2023. On this day, people around the country are invited to wear purple.

This act is done to stand with survivors of domestic abuse and show them that they are not alone. There are organizations and individuals who are willing to help them out of abusive situations. I invite all people to wear purple on this day to bring awareness to domestic violence and the individuals whom it impacts daily. 

Along with Purple Thursday, there are many local events happening in your own hometowns. Make sure to check your hometown’s official website for any local news surrounding Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for example, there is a Lighting Ceremony and Survivor Celebration on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 from 5:30 – 8:00 pm. at Lutheran Settlement House, 1340 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA.

In State College, Pennsylvania, the Gender Equity Center at Penn State University will have many events to raise awareness. One particularly moving event is the Clothesline Project Display. This event will be held October 9th through 27th at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, Pattee and Paterno Library, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Paul Robeson Cultural Center, Pollock Commons Cultural Lounge, and the IM Building.

This event includes t-shirts with messages from people on campus who have been impacted by domestic violence. This powerful display brings awareness of domestic violence to the students of Penn State directly from the survivors themselves. The survivors’ words will inspire you to take a stand against all personal violence both in the campus community and off. Penn State’s Clothesline Project was inspired by Utah Valley University’s project of the same name that was started in 1998. 

Along with honoring survivors, Domestic Violence Awareness Month seeks to bring recognition to the lives lost to domestic violence every year. According to Shelter House, a domestic and sexual violence center, “There are 16,800 homicides due to intimate partner violence annually”.

Penn State Gender Equity Center is hosting an event called “Empty Place at the Table” in 222U Boucke Building all month long. This event is hosted by many other universities and domestic violence awareness organizations throughout the month of October.

The display is replicated at each organization and university in the same manner. It includes a table, empty chairs, and dinner settings for one or more individuals. It is a powerful display meant to remind those who walk past it to never forget the lives we’ve lost and continue to lose every day to domestic violence.  

You are not alone. There is help available. For those of you seeking support in removing yourselves from domestic violence situations, please reach out to the following resources: 

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. 


Each college or university should have Psychological Services for confidential support. Some universities also have Gender Equity Centers to support victims confidentially.

For disciplinary action that is non-confidential please contact your school’s Office of Sexual Misconduct Reporting and Response. These offices are committed to providing support, resources, and services to those who have been affected by domestic violence, dating violence, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, as well as retaliation for reporting any of these acts.    

Penn State University Specific  

Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response 

Gender Equity Center 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 

Crisis Services (24/7) 
Penn State Crisis Line: 

Crisis Text Line: 
Text “LIONS” to 741741 

Centre Safe 

(This is a domestic violence shelter located in State College, PA and Bellfonte, PA) 

24-hour confidential hotline:  

State Resources

Please use the below resource to find domestic violence shelters in your state (United States and Canada) 

Domestic Shelters.org 

International Resources

Please use the below resource to find domestic violence shelters internationally (not United States or Canada) 


National Hotlines

The below resources and more National Hotlines can be found here

National Domestic Violence Hotline (24/7, Call or Text) 


Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) – National Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7, Call or Online Chat) 

Hotline: 1 (800)-656-4673 

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. 

Love is Respect – National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline (24/7, Call, Text, Online Chat) 

Hotline: 1 (866)-331-9474 
Text: 22522 

StrongHearts Native Helpline (Available Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:30pm CST via phone.) 

Hotline: 1 (844)-762-8483 

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a safe, anonymous, and confidential service for Native Americans experiencing domestic violence and dating violence. 

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline (Hours vary, phone and online chat) 

Hotline: 1 (888) 843 –4564 
Youth Talkline: 1 (800)-246 –7743 
Senior Helpline: 1 (888)-234 –7243 
Email: help@LGBThotline.org 

The LGBT National Help Center serves gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning people by providing free and confidential peer support and local resources. 

Womens Law 

Email hotline: https://hotline.womenslaw.org/ 

The WomensLaw online helpline provides basic legal information, referrals, and emotional support for victims of abuse. 

Veronica Figg is a Sophomore at Penn State University with a major in Criminology and a minor in English. She is a student in the Schreyer Honors College. She has been writing since she was young. When she isn't in class you can find her in the library curled up with a good book or working on her second novel.