Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is domestic violence awareness month; you might have seen the hashtag #DVAM2016 on twitter, you might have seen the purple signs on campus about relationship violence and you might have even seen some people walking around with new blue t shirts showing support.

When you think of domestic violence though, you probably picture a straight married couple, with the husband beating the wife. This is, unfortunately, only one scary reality for the many forms that intimate partner violence can take.

The truth is that intimate partner violence is not limited to one gender, one type of relationship, one race, one religion or one age group. It can happen to anyone at any stage in their life. Estimates vary, but all are alarmingly high – as many as 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience some type of relationship violence in their life time.

One organization that works with college students to promote awareness of intimate partner violence is the One Love Foundation. Yeardley Love, a Baltimore native, was killed by her boyfriend at University of Virginia in 2010, since then One Love has been working with college students to help identify the warning signs of an abusive relationship.

One of their most popular campaigns, #ThatsNotLove, helps identify behaviors that could fall into the grey area between being love and being wrong or abusive signs. Their blog also posts great resources for understanding healthy relationships.

Do your part this October and speak up for those who have experienced domestic violence by participating in social media campaigns that bring awareness to the issue, and provide resources and hope!