National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Dan Long – Dean of Students
October 1 marks the start of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and has done so since 1981. Domestic Violence, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of abusive behaviors intended to gain, maintain, or regain power and control within a relationship. These abusive behaviors can include physical, sexual, or psychological tactics intended to hurt, humiliate, control, manipulate, terrorize, or even kill current or former intimate partners.
In the United States, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men will be the victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. All groups of people are affected by domestic violence but women and racial/ethnic and sexual minority groups are disproportionately affected.
This year in particular, the Domestic Violence Awareness Project is committed to working in the space where domestic violence survivor justice and racial justice intersect. The DVAP #1thing Campaign is built around the idea that an end to domestic violence begins with the collective power of doing one thing. Taking a solitary action in the context of a community working together to each take their own action creates a cultural shift. Your individual #1thing can be big or small and add to the collective movement to end domestic violence.
This year has brought an additional challenge in identifying, challenging, and addressing domestic violence: COVID-19. Stay at home orders, lockdown, and isolation have added to the risks many face for domestic violence. Eve Valera, Ph.D. from the Harvard Medical School explains the situation much better in her article When Lockdown Is Not Actually Safer: Intimate Partner Violence During COVID-19. Having to stay home raises the level of concern for those that are a victim of domestic violence. Little interaction with outside people means fewer possible sources of intervention or support. Children may now be exposed to domestic violence in their homes where they may not have seen it or experienced it in person before. Resources can be harder to come by and access.
The No More campaign is encouraging us to all #listenfromhometo support those around us. If you know or suspect a person may be the victim of domestic violence – reach out to them. Be a line of support for them. We cannot ignore the needs of those around us.
If you need advice, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline or the police if the situation seems to be an emergency. Spread the word to your friends and colleagues that we are all paying attention and domestic violence is never acceptable.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Sexual Assault Hotline
National Helpline for Men Who Were Sexually Abused or Assaulted
Love is Respect
Detroit Area Resources: