This October marks the 30th annual observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a month used to acknowledge survivors and victims of abuse and raise awareness about domestic violence. Take some time this month to raise awareness about this important issue on your campus or in your community.
Host a drive or fundraiser
Most communities have a domestic violence organization or shelter that serves victims of abuse within their town or community. These nonprofits provide resources and sometimes housing year-round to abuse victims and they can always benefit from the generosity of the local community.
Contact your local shelter and find out what types of resources they need. Often times, basic essentials like shampoo and conditioner, menstrual products, and canned food run low and non-profits don’t have the funds to keep these items in stock themselves. Hosting a drive on your campus can allow you to quickly and easily collect dozens of products to benefit the center, while also spreading information and awareness about the organization and the work they do.
Bring The Clothesline Project to your campus
The Clothesline Project is an instillation art project that domestic violence organizations use to raise awareness about abuse in their local communities. For the project, survivors of abuse or people who know a victim or survivor, create a t-shirt that helps to share that person’s story.
Different colored t-shirts represent different types of abuse that a person has experienced: white stands for victims who lost their lives due to abuse; yellow or beige represents people who were assaulted or battered; pink, red, and orange are for survivors of rape and sexual assault; blue and green stand for survivors of incest and sexual abuse; purple and lavender are for women attacked for their sexuality; black represents women assaulted for political reasons.
Hanging the shirts on clotheslines between trees or light posts gives a visual representation of the way domestic violence affects a community.
Participate in local events
Most college campuses and domestic violence centers host events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Clothesline Projects, domestic violence awareness vigils, tabling events, 5k walks, and movie showings happen across the country during the month of October.
You can contact your local domestic violence center to find out what events they are hosting this month. You can also visit the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence’s website to find events near your location.