Safe + Sound Blog

20 Small Actions for Domestic Violence Awareness Month


#DVAM2020

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), and you have the power to educate and develop awareness around this important issue. Partner with Safe+Sound Somerset and take small actions today that can result in huge impacts on the lives of survivors in our community and their families!

Traditionally, domestic violence is considered a private or family matter, and it isn’t often talked about until it makes newspaper headlines. The reality is that domestic violence is a community issue.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviors one person uses to gain power and control over a partner or family member. These behaviors can include verbal, financial, sexual, emotional, physical, and digital actions that are controlling, threatening, degrading, and/or violent.

We know that abuse and violence affect entire families for generations, schools, workplaces, communities, and countries. As a result, it’s everyone’s responsibility to promote healthy relationships and work to prevent abuse.

Below is a list of small actions you can take to help survivors find support, services, safety, hope, and healing at Safe+Sound Somerset, and prevent domestic abuse.

 

  1. Have continuous conversations with your friends, families, and kids about healthy and equal relationships. Use our easy Rights and Responsibilities framework to start – for example, both partners have a right to share their opinions, change their mind, and not be abused or bullied. Read on below for more educational information and resources.

 

  1. Educate others. Start with the numbers on intimate partner violence obtained from The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

  1. Teach and model healthy, respectful boundaries and consent for kids and teens with even the smallest things (for example, asking if someone wants a hug or kiss, a cup of water, help with their homework vs. giving it to them automatically). See this poster, “Consent Starts at the Dinner Table” by Curious Parenting for more ideas.

 

  1. Sign up to attend one of Safe+Sound Somerset’s upcoming educational webinars here.

 

  1. Believe survivors! If someone in your life confides in you, listen and validate their experiences. Don’t try to be the fact finder and question what they are saying – this is a form of victim blaming. Provide resources like our 24/7 call or text support hotline – 866-685-1122.

 

  1. Change the language of victim blaming when you hear it in your community or online. For example, “If she was wearing that, she was asking for trouble” should be, “It wasn’t her fault.”

 

  1. Learn the warning signs of domestic abuse: someone makes excuses for their partner, has to constantly check in or text their partner, asks for permission to see friends and family, makes up excuses for past injuries, and more. For a full definition of domestic abuse and warning signs, read this page from The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

 

  1. Show your commitment to ending domestic abuse and ensure that S+SS can continue to provide much-needed services to Somerset County survivors with a gift of $5 a month – the cost of one cup of coffee.

 

  1. Call or email your Senators and tell them to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA provides critical funding to survivors and domestic abuse organizations, and is currently stalled in the Senate. Learn more about VAWA here from The National Domestic Violence Hotline. S. Even if you’re a teenager below voting age, you can contact your Senators!

 

  1. Sign up a team to participate in Safe+Sound Somerset’s Soaring to New Heights Gala and Trivia Night, and help support survivors in our community. The deadline to register a team is November 2, so don’t wait!

 

 

  1. Make time to practice self-care and mindfulness. We can’t take care of others or engage in prevention work long term without taking care of ourselves. Here is one of our favorite activities: 5 Senses by the University of Vermont Medical Center. Take 3 minutes and try it out. This is a fun, easy activity for kids, adults, and groups!

 

  1. For more information about DV, read the book No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder.

 

  1. Volunteer with Safe+Sound Somerset – our next 40 Hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training program starts in Spring 2021.

 

  1. Read this article by Safe+Sound Somerset to rephrase an often-asked question: “Why Didn’t You Just Leave?”

 

  1. Research candidates up for election on November 3, 2020 and vote in favor of policies that support survivors.

 

  1. Learn about the connection between racism and domestic violence, and then spread this information to your circle. Read our article, “Violence is Violence: Why Domestic Abuse Prevention Must be Anti-Racist,” and check out these books: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

 

  1. Teens, parents, and professionals who work with teens: catch up on episodes of Ask Ava, the podcast where we answer questions about relationships from real teens in Somerset County.

ask-ava-podcast

  1. Educate yourself about the realities of financial abuse, which 99% of domestic violence survivors face, and pass this information along to others in your circle.

 

  1. Look for portrayals of healthy and unhealthy relationships on TV, in the movies, and in music. If you have kids, ask them questions about these relationships: do they show respect for each other? Is there a balance of power and equality? What makes you say so? For adults: read the book Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty or watch the show on HBO, which portrays the effects of an abusive marriage on a high income community.

 

  1. Raise awareness on social media and/or tell us how you are spreading the word! Share information or images from S+SS on your social media feeds and encourage your followers to join in and reshare. Use the hashtag #DVAM2020 and @safesoundsomerset. Sign up to be an official Social Ambassador, a virtual volunteering opportunity, with our organization.

 

Partner with Safe+Sound Somerset this October and take action today. Your community needs you!