I joined the YWCA team in early August and came in during a whirlwind of activity. We had The Party with the Purpose and went boho chic on a gorgeous summer evening for Girls Night Out. Here we are two months later and it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). The highlight of DVAM is October 16 through October 20 which is the YWCA Week Without Violence. As the licensed domestic violence services provider for Kanawha, Boone, and Clay counties, YWCA Charleston has a full schedule of activities to raise awareness of domestic violence and intimate partner violence.
Much like Girls Night Out we have a host of wonderful community partners who are sure to make this month’s activities a success. Special thanks to University of Charleston’s Cari Matheny and Theta Kappa Pi sorority members who will be joining us for the DV Awareness Visibility Event taking place on both sides of Kanawha Blvd. on October 18th at YWCA headquarters. You can join us, too! We encourage you to RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook.
Ending domestic violence is daunting, but there are 11 things you can do in your everyday life that could make a difference in the life of a survivor. Everyone does a list of 10, so I’m upping the ante with eleven things – that everyone can do.
1. Plug our DV crisis line in your phone.
304.340.3549 or 800.681.8663, so you can easily share it with people. Share the contact with your friends and ask them to do the same!
2. Wear purple.
Show your support for survivors of domestic violence. Share on social media #whydoyouwearpurple.
3. Join us Oct 18th.
At our DV Awareness Visibility Event. Grab a sign, line the Kanawha Boulevard, and show your support for eliminating domestic violence with those 5:00 motorists.
4. Be an ally.
This is for those men out there. DV isn’t only a women’s issue - it’s a human issue.
5. Don’t ignore it.
If you see or hear an argument, call the police. You could save a life.
6. Support the statewide coalition.
Attend the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Purple Gala in Charleston on October 26.
7. Raise awareness about the services available.
Tell friends and family about what the YWCA Charleston Resolve Family Abuse Program does. If your club, class, or workplace needs a speaker or learning event, call me: 304.340.3554.
8. Know the signs.
Examples include (though there are many more):
Keeping someone away from friends and family
Controlling the money, who they see, where they go, or where and when they work
Monitoring their phone, computer, and GPS
Threatening someone or their family, friends, or pets
Accusing them of cheating
Refusing to use or sabotaging birth control
It’s difficult for those experiencing domestic violence to involve others. If a friend confides in you, listen without judgment and ask how you can help.
10. Educate kids about violence.
Promote healthy relationships and let them know they can come to you if they ever encounter trouble. Did you know we have a Teen Dating Violence Awareness speaker available?
11. Share this blog.
I hope you all join us for all of our Week Without Violence events, and on this important mission!