Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October 3, 2016 by mitchellcohen
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this year we’re joining organizations across the country in taking action to spread awareness and support survivors. LEAD360 winner Grace Wickerson is leading our efforts with her project Survivor Packs, which helps survivors get back on their feet and know someone out there is thinking of them. Each pack consists of toiletries, a journal, and a handwritten note of support. Below, Grace reflects on her project and why recognizing this month is so important.
Domestic Violence can impact anyone regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic or racial background, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It is an epidemic that is systemic in our society, enabled by a lack of focused attention to the inherent causes of interpersonal violence and initiative to combat these causes and form lasting solutions. Year after year, I have focused my attention on raising awareness about domestic violence during October alongside other activists, and I still find that the statistics haven’t changed. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men still face domestic violence. Now while this may seem like the point where we lay down the banners and say, “nothing’s going to change so why bother,” I think it’s the point where we say “why isn’t this working and how do we make it work?” Let’s focus on efforts that actively engage communities in developing educational initiatives in our schools that get young people talking about relationship violence and sexual assault and developing the positive behaviors that are crucial to healthy relationships. Let’s draft and fight for legislation that increases support systems for survivors. Let’s engage stakeholders who might not be involved in anti-violence activism and get them to draft innovative solutions. Let’s actively serve survivors and treat them like people, not statistics. Let’s be active instead of complacently sharing an “it’s domestic violence awareness month” post on our social media pages. Let’s make ending domestic violence a priority in order to create a future that is more productive, healthy, and equal for all.
Ready to take action? You can lead a Survivor Packs event in just 4 easy steps and immediately impact the lives of domestic violence survivors in your community, sparking a lasting conversation about ending violence. My goal is to impact 100,000 lives this year — but I need your help! Take action now by checking out our activation site at lead360.jeffersonawards.or