October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed in 1987. In 1989, Congress passed a law formally designating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” that was first held in October 1981 — an idea conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The idea was to connect advocates across the United States who were working to end violence against women and their children.

Eventually, the Day of Unity became a week devoted to activities at the local, state and national levels. The activities had common themes:

  • mourn those who died because of domestic violence.
  • celebrate those who survived domestic violence.
  • connect those who work to end domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Victim Resources

In Michigan, more than 70 organizations in 56 different cities offer some type of domestic violence services. For a complete list, click here.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1, Michigan 2-1-1 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

If you’re a teenager being abused by a companion or a teen who has been sexually assaulted, call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453. You can also text “loveis” to 22522 or live chat at http://www.loveisrespect.org.

In addition, sexual assault victims can seek help through the U.S. National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE). This hotline automatically connects you to a local rape crisis program based on the area code of your phone number. A secure, online private chat is available at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/.

Be Careful When Using Technology In A Domestic Violence Situation

When it comes to using technology, keep the following in mind.

  • When make a phone call, remember that cordless phones and analog cell phones are not as private (i.e., are more likely to be intercepted) as telephones with cords. Also remember that you may be unable to reach 9-1-1 with an Internet-based phone service, so be prepared to use another phone. If you need information on free cell phone donation programs, contact a local domestic violence shelter.
  • If you suspect your activities are being monitored, they probably are. You don’t need special skills to monitor someone’s computer and Internet activities — anyone can do it with programs like Spyware, keystroke loggers and hacking tools.
  • It is impossible to delete all the “footprints” of your online activities because computers can store a lot of private information, including what you’ve viewed on the Internet, emails and other messages you send, as well as your social media posts, Internet-based calls, website purchases, online banking, and so forth. If you’re being monitored, it may also be risky to change your computer behavior, like suddenly deleting your browser history.
  • If you think you may be monitored on a computer, be careful how you use that computer. Use a safe computer to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets or ask for help. In fact, it might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center, at a trusted friend’s house or at an Internet cafe.
  • Email and text messages are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about domestic violence. If you use email or text, use an account the alleged abuser does not know exists.

If you’re in a domestic violence situation and need legal assistance, including a Personal Protection Order, the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help. Contact our Lansing family law attorneys today for a free initial consultation.

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