NCAVP continues. “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience some form of intimate partner sexual violence, intimate partner physical violence, and/or intimate partner stalking during their lifetime.” And try to digest this rather stomach-churning statistic: nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.” And to make matters worse, COVID dramatically exacerbated incidences of both DVA and IPV/A.
In recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I want to share with you how this observance came to be.
And how it has grown.
NDVAM evolved from the first Day of Unity, which was established by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in October 1981. The intent was to connect battered women advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.
Soon, when a range of activities was conducted at the local, state, and national levels, the Day of Unity became a special week. These activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors–but had common themes: mourning those who had died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who had survived, and connecting those who worked to end violence and abuse.
Then in October 1987, the inaugural Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. In that same year, the first national toll-free hotline was initiated. And in 1989, the U. S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112, designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
In October 1994, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), in conjunction with Ms. Magazine, created the “Remember My Name” project, a national registry to increase public awareness of deaths due to domestic violence and abuse. On October 11, 2003, the U.S. Postal Service issued their “Stop Family Violence” stamp. A young girl, who expressed her sadness about domestic violence, created the design of this first-class stamp. Profits from the sale of the stamp were transferred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist domestic violence programs.