Domestic Violence Awareness Month is in full swing! Are you looking for ways to participate? Here are 10 things you can do:
1. Tell people! Talking about domestic violence takes away the shame and stigma that allows abuse to thrive. Say to a friend, “Hey, did you know October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?” Share REACH’s Facebook posts or re-tweet our #DVAM content as an easy way to start conversations.
2. Show your support! Purple is the color of DVAM, and just last week the Massachusetts Statehouse and the Zakim Bridge in Boston were lit up to show their support. Meanwhile the No More campaign has launched a campaign backed by celebrities and major organizations to say “No More” to domestic and sexual violence. Check out this selection of artwork for use in social media and elsewhere.
3. Educate yourself. You can start by reading some of the resources on our website and get the facts about domestic and dating violence.
4. Build social connections. Say hi to a neighbor, host a block party, reach out to a friend. Research shows that strong social connections can serve as a protective factor against abuse, which thrives in isolation.
5. Invite REACH to speak at your local civic or community group.
6. If you live or work in Waltham, come to “Preventing Domestic Violence: The Waltham Community Responds” – a panel discussion and forum on Monday night, October 21st from 6:30-8:30pm at the McDevitt Middle School.
7. Bring up the subject of domestic violence at your place of worship. If they’re willing to host a guest speaker, let us know and we’re happy to come.
8. Host a “friendraiser” – invite friends and neighbors to your home to learn about REACH and the work that we do.
9. Host a drive – the survivors we work with are always in need of paper goods or personal care items. Put a box out in your workplace and watch the soap, shampoo and toothpaste pile up!
10. Have a conversation about healthy relationships with your kids. It’s never too early to start. Talk to younger kids about the importance of not keeping secrets and that it’s ok to say no to things that make them uncomfortable. As they get older, talk to them about establishing boundaries and think about what they want from relationships. It’s important to keep the conversation going when they’re teens and not to let the awkwardness stop you. Ask open-ended questions and be willing to listen.
Those are just 10 things, do you have other ideas? Let us know in the comments section.