October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So it's time to break the silence and speak out! DVAM, as it is also called, began in 1981 due to the efforts of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It started out as a Day of Unity to link advocates working to end violence against women and their children. Then it grew into a whole week devoted to the cause and, finally, into the month-long observance we have today.
DVAM tackles issues that are, unfortunately, still very pressing in these times. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly half of all female homicide victims are killed by a current or former dating partner. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that 24 people a minute, or more than 12 million men and women a year, suffer rape, physical violence or stalking by a partner.
This is why this month's observance matters. While every year's activities are varied and diverse, the common themes include:
Remembering those who have been lost due to domestic violence.
Celebrating the survivors.
Connecting those working to end violence and help victims.
On our part, Sharpen is contributing to #DomesticViolenceAwareness with its programs that include educational and awareness-raising materials. At the forefront is our sharpenWARRIOR and SharpenFAMILY tool, which offers mental health and wellness education and support to families, providing them with clinically-vetted resources. The former is tailored for veterans because untreated traumatic experiences can result in domestic problems, which can include behaviors such as domestic violence.
sharpenWARRIOR's content such as Into Domestic Violence, SharpenFAMILY's Early Childhood Trauma, and our other courses have proven to be of great help to affected peoples and support groups.
We must all do our part in helping those who are facing domestic violence, supporting survivors and assisting organizations advocating for this cause. This is our focus in October, but the effort is an ongoing one regardless of the time of year. Let’s work together to break the cycle!