Domestic Violence Awareness Month

About DVAM 2015

DVAM bracelets 2
NYLAG staff members show support and spread awareness with purple wristbands for DVAM.

Twenty-eight years ago, October was designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) as a way to build public consciousness of a pervasive but hidden social problem. Every October, NYLAG and other advocates across the nation who work to end intimate partner violence, rally to shine the light on this critical issue.

Domestic violence feeds on silence. Victims keep quiet and remain with their batterers for many reasons. Fear of retaliatory physical violence is certainly one of them, but there are others. Economic, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse are often more subtle forms of control, but can dramatically affect a victim’s ability to break free. And despite the fact that witnessing domestic violence has a significant negative impact on children, many victims stay with abusive partners for their kids’ sakes, determined to keep their families together at all costs.

Domestic violence isn’t something that happens somewhere else. It lives right here, in our midst. It lives next door, in the office or the cubicle down the hall, among friends whose lives we think we know, and perhaps inside our own homes. Let’s make this the year we turn awareness into action.

For a complete calendar of activities hosted by NYC community and advocacy organizations during the month, visit the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence website.

Why Purple?

For those working on the front lines of change, the color purple has come to represent courage, persistence, honor, and the commitment to ending domestic violence. NYLAG “goes purple” for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Facts about Domestic Violence

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.[1]
  • 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.[2]
  • Approximately 450,000 domestic incidents are reported annually to police departments in New York State.[3]
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.[4]
  • 76% of female homicide victims had been stalked by the person who killed them. [5]

For more information, visit the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence or The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

What We’re Doing Year-Round

  • Representing victims in all courts
  • Providing extensive advice, counsel and advocacy
  • Reaching victims in isolated communities
  • Sending lawyers onsite to community-based organizations
  • Participating in Family Court borough working groups
  • Partnering with the NYC Family Justice Centers
  • Educating and mentoring law students
  • Training service providers
  • Co-Chairing the Lawyer’s Committee against Domestic Violence
  • Co-Chairing the UJA-Federation of New York Family Violence Task Force
  • Speaking-Out against domestic violence

1. http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf
2. http://www.vpc.org/studies/amroul2012.pdf
3. DCJS Domestic Incident Report Data, 2001-2002
4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447915/
5. http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/src/stalking-fact-sheet_english.pdf