Friday, September 18, 2009

Where is your purple gonna be?

I usually dye my hair purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) which is October, and I choose purple because that is the awareness color of Domestic Violence (DV).  People always stop me in public and ask me why my hair is purple; cause I do NOT look the type you’d think would normally have purple hair.  When they ask, I get the chance to tell them!!  Others aren’t so pushy with it and just hang purple lights around their house or purple ribbons on their cars.

Each year around this time I try to write up something about DVAM being just around the corner.  I like to make people aware of this month to encourage them to get involved in activities in their local areas.  Now is the time to start looking into what activities the DV agencies are hosting during the month of October, so that you can plan and won’t miss the event you want to attend or help with.

I feel that as a society we should be ‘aware’ of domestic violence year round.  However, I also realize that by setting aside a certain month to view a certain issue gives us time to focus on and process the information we receive during that specific month.  I encourage everyone to become involved in community programs through out the year, which are focused on preventing DV.

If you are not already involved in your local community or surrounding area with helping in the areas of DV Awareness and/or prevention, or helping the victims of DV then the following may be some ways in which you can get involved.  This is a general list to give you ideas.  If you would like more specific options on how you can help, please contact your local DV Shelter or State Domestic Violence Coalition.

Here is the post that I posted last year and I feel it still works, so I’m giving it to ya again!

So... I get asked: "Great, you tell me to help DV victims during awareness month, but how am I supposed to do that when I have never even met a DV victim?"

There are many people that would be more than willing to do something during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, however they just aren't sure what to do, or where or when or how...

This list is copied from this ARTICLE.  

In your place of worship
1. Encourage information about domestic abuse in the congregation's programs, youth groups, marriage preparation, study groups, etc.
2. Establish a committee to promote awareness of the problem and how the congregation can help.
3. Organize a drive to collect food, toiletries, household goods and other needed items for a local domestic violence service.
In your workplace
4. Display posters or brochures (in break rooms, restrooms, or meeting rooms) to promote awareness of domestic abuse and how to get help.
5. Organize a Brown Bag lunch or other event for co-workers and invite a speaker to talk about solutions to the problem.
6. Ask what policies your employer has developed to keep employees safe from a domestic abuser who threatens the workplace.
In schools and daycare
7. Encourage the editor of the school newspaper to have a special issue about teen dating violence and partner abuse.
8. Write a paper about domestic violence to share with students.
9. Educate teachers and other staff about the connection between child abuse and partner abuse.
In civic organizations, clubs or neighborhoods
10. Invite a speaker to educate organization members about domestic violence.
11. Organize a fundraising event or food/toiletries drive to benefit a domestic violence service agency.
12. Publish information about domestic violence and available resources in the newsletter.
13. "Adopt" a family seeking independence from an abuser, to assist with practical needs.

As a Citizen
14. Ask your local library to stock books on domestic violence and to set up displays to educate the public about the issue.
15. Speak out against domestic abuse: Expressing your view that domestic violence is unacceptable has a powerful effect on changing the norms that support abuse.
16. Write letters to newspaper editors or send commentaries to TV and radio to help raise awareness about domestic violence.
17. Vote for public leaders who take a strong stand against domestic abuse.
18. Call 911 if you see or hear a crime of domestic abuse in progress. Write down license plate numbers, locations, and any other information that may be helpful to law enforcement.
19. Volunteer with a domestic violence service. Organizations need help with office activities, fund raising events, technical and professional services and assistance to clients.
20. Donate used clothing and household goods to a program that gives these vital items to families seeking independence from an abuser.
21. Participate in neighborhood crime watch programs.

Hang information flyers and/or awareness flyers in public restrooms, or anywhere else you think would they would be noticed. Now keep in mind that you don't have to stop doing some of this stuff after October!  By all means...continue your efforts throughout the year.

The more the merrier!

So in stating this, I implore all of you out there to stand up and do something for domestic violence victims not only in October, but throughout the year. Turn these victims into proud SURVIVORS!!! Give them some hope and some help. To borrow a phrase used quite often, give them a hand-up not a hand-out.

All of these are really general and will take some research, time and effort on your part.  But, the way I look at it is this...the time I take to do even one of these activities just may save someone's life.....so are a few minutes of your life worth the life of another?

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