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October WAS Domestic Violence Awareness Month
30th Sep

2019

October WAS Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

Today is October 1, the first day of what was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you are reading this blog, get ready to learn a new focus. And know that you are taking a first and important step in breaking the cycle of abuse.

The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) is a strong partner of Coburn Place. The organization works for the prevention and elimination of domestic violence – until the violence ends. Recently, they completed a two-year journey to compile research resulting in recommendations for communities and domestic violence programs based on interviews conducted with survivors of domestic violence.

Research Findings: What Survivors Say we Should Talk About

One of the strongest take-a-ways was HOW to talk about domestic violence. We have often used Domestic Violence Awareness Month as a time to share statistics and imagery to illustrate that domestic violence is a serious problem. This played an important role in the early days of our movement: We were able to help people acknowledge the problem at a time where many people failed to acknowledge domestic violence at all. Almost half a century has passed since the very beginning of this movement, and knowledge and discussion of domestic violence has entered the mainstream. We are going to take this opportunity to pivot towards a broader message: one that is centered in surviving. Rest assured, we’ll keep honoring and remembering those who have been tragically taken from us by telling their stories. But survivors have expressed they also need messages of prevention and hope that this cycle can be broken

Re-branding the Month of October

We know 42.5 percent of Hoosiers are experiencing some form of gender-based violence (43.4 percent of those who identify as women and 27.9 percent of those who identify as men). When someone dies due to domestic violence the tragic impact is far-reaching. We can never forget those we’ve lost. But when we link domestic violence only with deadly incidents, we are not painting a full picture of what a majority of survivors are experiencing on a daily basis. In the Re-Centering Report, survivors told us they need our messaging surrounding domestic violence to focus on helping survivors connect with resources, and decreasing judgment in the community. They told us loudly and clearly that awareness strategies that focus on injury and death feel triggering/traumatizing for them. That’s why we are”re-branding” Domestic Violence Awareness Month to a more hopeful (and helpful) alternative–Domestic Violence Prevention Month.

Encouragement: How Powerful

We will continue awareness strategies, like spreading the word about all of the resources available to survivors, from shelter, to financial security, to criminal record expungement, but we also want to make it clear we are doing something new. This month, we will focus on the ways we all can create safe, stable, nurturing, nonjudgmental communities where everyone can thrive, and violence doesn’t feel like an easy or appropriate choice. We encourage you to join us in focusing on strategies that encourage community members to support survivors in their neighborhoods, congregations and workplaces. When we create environments that accept people’s whole selves, we are working to eliminate violence.

Thanks for being a big part of the solution. |  READ the ICADV’s Re-Centering report HERE.

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