Oct. Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For those who have been abused in their own home by someone from their own family, October is about much more than the fall chill and changing leaves. It is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), a time designed to bring folks together in health care awareness of domestic violence and band together to come up with ways to try and prevent it.

At Concorde, domestic violence is a health care awareness issue we take very seriously. Many of our students come from difficult home environments, and many have overcome domestic violence in their lives and gone on to earn health care degrees and diplomas and work in successful careers. Still others don’t survive domestic violence, and it’s those whom we stand with, especially this month.

A health care awareness history

Domestic Violence Awareness Month actually began as a day – the “Day of Unity” held in October of 1981. It was conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and children and to raise health care awareness. The Day of Unity eventually became a week devoted to a range of activities conducted at local, state and national levels, and that week eventually turned into common activities and themes aimed at stamping out domestic violence commemorated the entire month of October.

Those common themes:

  • Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence
  • Celebrating those who have survived
  • Connecting those who work to end violence

The first DVAM was observed in 1987. Not coincidentally, that was the same year that the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline was initiated. Congress officially designated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 1989 by passing Public Law 101-112. The Day of Unity always is celebrated the first Monday of DVAM, so it was celebrated this year on Oct. 3.

A Presidential proclamation

President Barack Obama issued and signed a proclamation Sept. 30, on the eve of DVAM. It reads, in part:

The physical and emotional scars of domestic violence can cast a long shadow. Too many individuals, regardless of age, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, circumstance, or race, face the pain and fear of domestic violence. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we shine a light on this violation of the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse, pledge to ensure every victim of domestic violence knows they are not alone, and foster supportive communities that help survivors seek justice and enjoy full and healthy lives. … I call on all Americans to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing they need. 

We ask you to join our Concorde family – students, faculty, staff, associates – in recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October and bringing about greater health care awareness for this important issue.

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