Everything You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Awareness Month

On average, 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  That's 28,800 a day and 10,512,000 a year.

Every October, domestic violence awareness and the importance of healthy relationships is recognized nationwide.  Not only this, it is a time to raise funds and resources for vital domestic violence shelters that take in, guide, and rehabilitate victims of abuse.  As we look back on this past month and past years of advocacy, we see undeniable advances, but also areas for improvement.  According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, in a single day in 2014, Iowa domestic violence programs served 853 victims/survivors, and another 133 were turned away due to lack of resources.  It is times like these that we must recognize the need for growth and continue to fight, throughout October and throughout the years, until no one is turned away.

Iowa City is unique in that it houses its very own domestic violence shelter, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, serving eight counties.  DVIP provides services to victims of domestic violence, stalking, dating violence and human trafficking.  If you're looking for ways to support the shelter, monetary donations are always welcome, or if you'd like to donate supplies, the list below provides top needed products.  Anyone can donate!

What should I donate to DVIP?

Top 10 Donations

  1. Deodorant
  2. Hair Conditioner and Shampoo
  3. African American Haircare products
  4. Laundry Soap
  5. Baby Formula (Milk & Soy Based)
  6. Baby Wipes and Diapers
  7. Toilet Paper
  8. Twin sheets and pillows
  9. Silverware, Plates, Bowls
  10. Dish Soap

Throughout domestic violence month, organizations like my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, held fundraisers and awareness events to bring light to the issue of domestic abuse.  This past October, we created a “Love is…” banner and invited students to write what healthy love is to them.  We also held a collaborative fundraiser raising money for the domestic violence shelter and the Rape Victim Advocacy Program.

This past summer, I also had the opportunity to work directly with victims of domestic abuse while helping them attain protective orders.  This broadened my perspective and allowed me to see the issue in a much more brutal, yet impactful light. 

The Power and Control Wheel
Am I in an unhealthy relationship?

 

Some may ask, “Why don’t they just walk away?”  However, my experience showed me how much deeper the implications of domestic violence can span.  From manipulation to financial dependency, abuse can take a variety of forms, some more visible than others, few being solvable by simply “walking away.”  Through education, accountability and social justice, programs like DVIP strive to create long-term solutions to a deeply-rooted problem.

While this issue may only get national coverage for a month, it doesn’t go away.  18 to 24-year-olds are most likely to encounter domestic violence, making continual support and awareness crucial.  To find out how to volunteer with DVIP, visit https://dvipiowa.org/get-involved/.

 

Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Domestic Violence Intervention Program: https://dvipiowa.org/

800-373-1043

Rape Victim Advocacy Program: https://rvap.uiowa.edu/about/where-we-are/iowa-city/

319-335-6000

University Counseling Service: https://counseling.uiowa.edu/

319-335-7294

Women’s Resource & Advocacy Center: https://diversity.uiowa.edu/unit/womens-resource-and-action-center

319-335-1486

Iowa Domestic Abuse Hotline: 800-373-1043

Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline: 800-284-7821

Image Credit: Img 1, Img 2