Domestic Violence Awareness Month has arrived.
Even before COVID-19, domestic violence was already an epidemic, but the health crisis has caused a spike in the incidents of abuse experienced in our community. Even though many restrictions of COVID-19 have been lifted, the violence and abuse has not and will not simply end. It is vital that as a community we have a greater awareness of abuse, that we support survivors of domestic and sexual violence, that we take steps in preventing domestic violence, and most importantly, that we believe survivors.
October is recognized as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the First Day of Unity observed in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). The intent was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.
Across our great nation, domestic violence advocates and those affected by domestic violence share a few common themes: mourning those who died as a result of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived domestic violence, and connecting those who work to end domestic violence. In October 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was held. In conjunction, the same year the first national toll-free hotline began. In 1989, Congress passed the first DVAM commemorative legislation and it has been passed every year since.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men have experienced sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Preventing such statistics requires the collective voice and power of individuals, families, advocacy agencies, law enforcement, and other community partners.
“Domestic and dating violence are community health issues, which have been minimized, hidden and even normalized for far too long.” states Rhiannon Gill, Sexual Violence Victim Advocate at the Partnership Advocacy Center.
This year, the Partnership Advocacy Center (formerly the Pike County Partnership Against Domestic Violence) is asking that the community show its support for those affected by domestic violence by wearing purple on Thursday, October 15, 2020. The Partnership would like for you to take a selfie, a family picture, a group picture, or even a picture of your fur babies wearing purple in support of the fight against domestic violence. You can post your pictures to the Partnership’s social media pages in the following ways: on Facebook @PartnershipAdvocacy , on Instagram @partnershipadvocacycenter , and on Twitter @Partnership1611 and use #DVAM. The Partnership may have changed its name, but advocates can still be reached at the same contact number, which is 740-947-1611, 24/7. In addition to the new name, the Partnership has also relocated from Waverly to Piketon. The Partnership is now located at 400 Third Street, Piketon, and our new mailing address is PO Box 93, Piketon, Ohio 45661.
The Partnership provides many services to the community and survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Advocates at the Partnership can assist with individualized safety planning, survivor support and aftercare, support to concerned family members, assisting with filing protection orders, domestic violence education, and court advocacy.
The Partnership also has a trained sexual violence victim’s advocate who can accompany sexual assault survivors to the hospital for treatment, to law enforcement to report the sexual assault, and is available 24/7.
The Partnership provides temporary emergency shelter for those fleeing abuse. Additionally, the Partnership has several prevention programs that are available to community members and employers. The Partnership is a Partner in Prevention with Darkness to Light and provides the Stewards of Children training that highlights prevention of child sexual abuse. They also provide the Crossroads of Parenting and Divorce class which provides a unique opportunity to help divorcing parents cope with the emotional pain of a divorce while maximizing the negative impact on their children.
The Partnership Advocacy Center’s normal business hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advocates can be reached at the following contact number: 740-947-1611. After normal business hours, advocates can be reached by pressing option 1 for the on-call advocate and option 2 for the sexual violence advocate. We hope that you will help support our cause by wearing purple on Thursday, October 15, 2020.