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October, The Month Of Spookies, Has Another Name

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

Greetings! As we all know, October is the month of candy, costumes, beer crawls, falling leaves, horror cinema, and spookie surprises. But did you also know that October happens to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)? 

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So, what is Domestic Violence (DV)? DV is a pattern of abusive behaviors in an intimate relationship of any kind ie. heterosexual, queer, and/or polyamorous relationships, that are based on one partner acting to maintain power and control over their other partner(s) (CARE). It is also important to note that while DV can be physical abuse, DV also appears in forms of emotional, verbal, economic, sexual, financial, and technological abuse (CARE). Additionally, while we might align with preconceived notions that only certain populations are affected by DV, it is actually a social issue that impacts all people, regardless of their “age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality.” (NCTSN) Now I know this is a heavy topic but I promise if you stick with me, this spooky season will feel a bit more celebratory. 

First, for some brief background — DVAM began in 1981 (NCTSN) with what is known as the “Day of Unity” (University of Minnesota). The Day of Unity was conceived as an effort to unite advocates “working to end violence against women and their children.” (University of Minnesota). The activities observed on this day were observed in an effort to mourn those lost to DV, celebrate and recognize survivors, and unite working advocates across the nation (University of Minnesota). Additionally, in solidarity with DVAM, the color purple has been designated to represent the movement.

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As this mission progressed, the US Congress finally designated October of 1989 as the official month of DVAM and legislation continues to pass in support of this motion. The Day of Unity, October 1st, now opens up the month of October for events coordinated around DV awareness, activism, and community recognition (University of Minnesota). So, now that we know a bit about DVAM, how can we participate in the movement and further spread love, care, and awareness no matter where you are or what season it is? What opportunities to find a DV-aware community are available nearby? What resources are open to anyone interested in knowing more about open programs or looking for advocacy? Worry not, UC Davis has DVAM events and resources available to all current Aggies and recent UCD affiliates (under certain parameters)!

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During the month of October, the Center For Advocacy Resources and Education (CARE), along with other resources on campus, such as the WRRC and LGBTQIA+ Resource Center, will be hosting campus events to educate and celebrate the Davis community. Events from the past have included, but are not limited to: Healing/ Trauma-Informed Yoga, Take Back The Night, The Relationship Rainbow Program, Bystander Intervention Programs, Painting in the Quad, and MUCH MORE… (and usually pizza)! These events are a safe space to meet other students, connect through open and educational conversation, and bond creatively on a topic that matters to everyone there. 

These events and resources are not limited to October either! Throughout the year, campus organizations throw other educational events pertaining to subjects such as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Stalking Awareness Month (CARE). The events and resources offered by UC Davis organizations are an opportunity for students to join and work together to create a safe, informed, and brave space – one where we can learn and ask questions pertaining to these social issues while implementing the importance of awareness, support, and bystander intervention. Now that you know the amazing opportunities and events within reach, I hope you join in the celebration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month this lovely upcoming October! Don’t forget to wear purple and have fun! I promise there will be no tricks and many treats!

Sage R.J. Lang is a fourth year at UC Davis, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Education. Sage has pursued their undergraduate degree while traveling abroad, including Davis, Santa Barbara, Washington D.C., and most recently Thailand. Sage has been writing since 2015 and looks forward to sharing their voice with the readers of Her Campus before graduating and pursuing their many career dreams. While Sage's focus is more usually creative prose, they look forward to expanding their horizons towards a more journalistic and personal style. Sage hopes to improve the experiences of current, new, and incoming Davis Aggies with their articles and looks forward to engaging with campus doing something they love deeply.