October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first commemorated in October, 1987. The month of October began as and continues to be a time for people to come together to remember those who have died, support those who have survived and bring together those working in the field of domestic violence. This October is again a time where people all over the country will come to together to participate in a range of events, from candlelight vigils to workshops, in order to bring attention to this important issue.
Domestic violence constitutes the willful intimidation, assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior perpetrated by one family member, household member, or intimate partner against another (The National Center for Victims of Crime). According to the United Methodist Women’s Domestic Violence Awareness survey given to United Methodist Women members in 2010, results show that 83.6% of 511 respondents affirmed that there have been incidences of domestic violence in their family, church, community, or surrounding areas. A number of them shared about incidences in their own homes.
What you can do
After attending National Seminar in August, United Methodist Women in Anchorage, Alaska decided to take further action on raising awareness of domestic violence. These women hosted a prayer service and candlelight vigil on October, 9 2011. They will also be hosting the 3rd annual spaghetti feed to raise money for awareness. You are encouraged to check out their Facebook page.
Inspired by this observance, the United Methodist Women Board of directors, at their fall meeting in New York City, also lit a purple candle to educate and advocate for the elimination of domestic violence.
Check this listing of Domestic Violence Awareness Month events in your area.
United Methodist Women, Men and Youth at Bartley Temple United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Florida hosted a seminar on domestic violence in September, 2011. The seminar educated 250 church and community members on the many effects of domestic violence and included how HIV/AIDS are affecting the area. United Methodist Women president Dr. Vivian Haynes also received a grant to lead a domestic violence awareness program for youth that will begin in November.