The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence impacts millions of people each year, however it can be prevented. It requires the collective voice and power of individuals, families, institutions, and systems. Each of these voices and elements of power are valuable components that will help to transform communities.
Chaffee County Alliance says the number one thing (#1Thing) you can do this month is to make a difference.
#1Thing unites individual voices while highlighting the power of collective action.
“Many people care and understand that domestic violence is a serious public health problem. They want to do something, but believe their actions can’t make a difference,” said Executive Director of The Alliance, Rachel Holder. “It feels overwhelming. But change can start with only #1Thing. Imagine if all 5,963 people in Salida, or all 20,000 people in Chaffee County, each commit to doing just #1Thing to stop domestic violence. Well, we could really see some serious social transformation.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four women and one in nine men have experienced sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
“Right here in Chaffee County, the Alliance has served 260 victims of abuse and violence this year alone,” added Holder. “That is why we need everyone – advocates, medical professionals, educators, survivors, researchers, policymakers, law enforcement officers, business owners, students, community members, and more, to do #1Thing to stop domestic violence here in Chaffee County.”
Listed below are some of the #1Things you could do to address domestic violence:
- Be a caring and consistent adult in the life of a child
- Talk to loved ones about violence and oppression
- Create a culture of consent in your home
- Use social media to raise awareness among your peers
- Donate time, money, or sign up for an informative newsletter
- Listen to and validate a survivor of trauma
- Speak out when you notice micro-aggressions
- Write to your legislator and/or newspaper
- Tell someone they matter
- Ask about anti-violence policies and programs at local schools
- Learn how to foster pets of survivors staying in a shelter
- Model self-care at work and home
- Help a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking directly. When shelters are full, staff may temporarily place survivors at secure hotel locations until safe, longer-term shelter is found. Using the SafeNight mobile app, you can make tax-deductible donations that pay for that safe shelter. Download and donate via SafeNight.
- Hold your loved ones accountable if they tell a racist/sexist joke
- Support women- and people of color-owned businesses in our community
Community members are encouraged to share their #1thing by making a short video that completes the sentence: “The one thing I can do to end domestic and sexual violence is….”
Send the video to email@example.com and post it to your social media with the hashtag #1thing and tag The Alliance. Community members may also print off this poster, write in what your one thing will be, and take a photo. Send the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and post it to your social sites.
The Alliance invites readers to join The Alliance as they mourn those whose lives were taken by domestic violence, celebrate the tremendous progress victim advocates have made over the years, and connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.