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HISTORY OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
As an effort to unite domestic violence advocates across the nation, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) held the first ever Day of Unity in October 1981. Eventually, the Day of Unity become a week-long event that connected advocates committed to the eradication of domestic violence, commemorated the deaths of women and children tragically killed because of domestic violence, and embraced those who survived domestic violence.
In October 1987, the NCADV, along with domestic violence advocates nationwide, held the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Their goal was to coordinate efforts nationwide to educate and promote understanding about domestic violence and how to help victims of domestic violence. Two years after the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was held, the United States Congress enacted the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation. Since Domestic Violence Awareness Month’s enactment, State Legislatures across the nation have done the same as well.
Increasing the public's understanding about domestic violence in our society can help communities support domestic violence survivors and their families, as well as the individuals and agencies that provide intervention and prevention services throughout the year. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is also a time to encourage the public to take active steps to address domestic violence. The hope is that a month of intensified awareness efforts combined with the broad spectrum of anti-domestic violence work throughout the year will bring us closer to ending domestic violence.