Way back when, in October of 1981, there was a massive event, known as the Day of Unity, held by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It brought together activists and advocates from all over the world bent on ending domestic violence. The purpose of this historic day was to, in bringing these people together, connect them all and strengthen their bonds so that they could better pursue this goal. From that single day sprung, first, a whole week dedicated to all kinds of activities and events. These were enacted at all levels- local, regional, and national, in order to have the greatest impact. The many sponsors each played a hand in shaping these, so that they were as multifaceted as the sponsors themselves. Common topics included mourning the victims of this heinous crime, supporting and lauding those who have survived it, and building a strong network to end domestic violence. Even today, the goals of this now month of events remains the same as that single day many years ago. The first official month was observed in 1987, and Congress officially threw their support behind it two years later. The Day of Unity is commemorated every year at the beginning of the month, on the first Monday of October.
Unfortunately, Domestic Violence is still an issue that plagues America to this day. Almost five hundred people die yearly as a result of gun-related domestic violence alone. Ten million people yearly are abused physically by an intimate partner of theirs, and one in five women in America is a victim of sexual assault. In fact, twenty thousand calls arrive in domestic violence hotlines each day. The Month is also spearheaded by the NCADV, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They do what they can to support victims and end the issue by supporting grassroots lobbying efforts to change the political climate and holding educational events. Domestic Violence is defined as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” This includes all forms of violence, including the non-physical, and all frequencies of this action. It is centered around power and control, and is a crime no-one should have to fall victim to. The epidemic affects people from every corner of the globe, and of every race, creed, and religion. The National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1-800-799-7233 and 1-800-787-3224 are the right places to start. This month will, hopefully, make a dent in the issue that our society faces.