Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) is a national effort to promote awareness and prevention of domestic violence and takes place in the month of October. At Women In Distress a series of local events and activities are held throughout the month of October to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels.
These activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.
In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year, the first national toll-free hotline was begun. In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress. Such legislation has passed every year since.
The Day of Unity is now celebrated the first Monday in October with hopes that events in communities and regions across the fifty states will culminate in a powerful statement celebrating the strength of battered women and their children.