Domestic Violence Awareness Month will continue this year as part of the Domestic Violence Awareness Project.
The observed month has been running since 1995 when several organizations including the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence united to tackle the problem.
Why is Domestic Violence Awareness Month so important? Because domestic violence is an extremely serious issue. It can have a huge range of consequences if it goes undealt with and in some cases has even lead to death.
Do you think you're being abused? Do you often feel ashamed or scared? Has being with this person lowered your self-esteem? Do they try to stop you seeing family or friends? All of these signs and more suggest that you're being unfairly abused by your partner.
Sometimes the partner's manipulation is so subtle that you might not even realize you're being abused at first - you might just feel gradually worse. If you think any of these signs apply to you, then click here for more facts about domestic violence.
There is a flip side to all of this. Maybe this can be the month that domestic abusers get help to change they way they behave. Do you shout and call your partner names? Have you ever hit them, threatened them or kept them away from loved ones? To find out more about what this means, go to the Domestic Violence Awareness Month website.
What could you do to help raise awareness this year? Past events have included activities that mourn the people lost at the hands of domestic violence, celebrates the survivors - and brings together both everyone that is affected wants to help. All with the same goal - to end violence once and for all!
The effects of domestic violence can be long-lasting. But hopefully everyone wil get involved in October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and make sure they push for changes that will be long-lasting in helping those who have been abused. If you're unsure about whether you're in a healthy relationship, take part in the quizzes at the Love is Respect website to find out.
No one deserves to live through an oppressed cycle of violence - people should be able to live freely and relationships are about loving each other. Not making the other person's life miserable!
The project and the organizations stand up for what is right for women and 2013 is your chance to organise an activity that gets people thinking about domestic violence and the changes that need to be made. It's a challenge I'm sure you can take on!
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