Each year in October, advocates, survivors, and supporters recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). YWCAs across the nation will be honoring the third week of October as the annual Week Without Violence, when we focus on ending gender-based violence, including domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and harassment. We invite you to join us this month as we Center Survivors through education, advocacy, and civic engagement.
What does it mean to Center Survivors?
From gun violence and mass shootings to reproductive health restrictions, anti-LGBTQ+ laws, and police violence, some of our nation’s most contentious issues directly impact the safety and well-being of survivors in unique and especially harmful ways. We can Center Survivors by advocating, educating, and engaging with our networks and our elected officials to ensure that survivors’ voices and needs are addressed at the polls and by our policy makers.
How you can Center Survivors this fall
- Raise your voice, use your vote. With midterm elections just days away, we can Center Survivors by registering to vote and educating ourselves and others on the ways that the issues on our ballot impact survivors. Advocate for policies and candidates that support the services and solutions that survivors need. Use your vote to dream of a world free from gender-based violence, where all survivors have easy access to safety, healing, and pathways forward.
- Register to vote or check your registration before the October 18 deadline.
- Make your plan to vote, either by mail, early in-person, or on election day. And encourage others to vote as well!
- Attend the Week Without Violence Get Out the Vote event on Tuesday, October 18, at YWCA Northeast Kansas, with our partners Loud Light and the League of Women Voters of Topeka and Shawnee County and be sure to save room for food from local food trucks!
Join allies, survivors, supporters, and advocates at the Capitol on Friday, October 21, for our annual Week Without Violence March & Rally. We’ll meet on the south steps at 11:30 a.m. After the rally, we will march together to YWCA Northeast Kansas for lunch and fellowship.
- Host a donation drive at your workplace, organization, or faith community. The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment is always in need of supplies for the main office, rural office, shelter, and Day Center. Check out the wish list to see which items are needed most, and organize a drive to collect and donate items at our main office. Our most pressing needs right now are for BIPOC hair products, saltine crackers, cup of noodles (and other ready-to-eat/microwaveable meals), detergent, baby wipes, toilet paper, full-size hair care and hygiene products.
- Donate to YWCA Northeast Kansas to support the free, confidential, life-saving services and programs provided to over 3,000 survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and human trafficking each year.
Fun and Unique Ideas to Support Survivors
Meet Alyssia, a Girl on a Mission! Alyssia was inspired by the music video for Hailee Steinfeld’s “Most Girls” to coordinate a Women’s Empowerment Photo Shoot for Mothers and Daughters. She recruited a friend/photographer, invited all the empowered women and girls she knows, and turned the event into a fundraiser for the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment. She raised $500! Way to go, Alyssia!
Jason Miles is raising awareness in style! For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Jason dyed his hair purple. Why? To raise awareness! When people ask him about his hair, he is ready to share his support for survivors of domestic violence, and encourage his friends, family, and colleagues to donate to YWCA Northeast Kansas. In addition to his own outreach and advocacy, Jason’s employer Zephyr Products, Inc., will be matching any money he raises this month!
What creative ways can you support and center survivors for Domestic Violence Awareness Month?
About the Center for Safety and Empowerment
The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, formerly the Battered Women Task Force, has provided vitally important services to victim-survivors of sexual and domestic violence for over 40 years. Services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, court advocacy, public education, and case management. The organization provides services to thousands of survivors each year, providing direct services to over 3,000 survivors, taking over 2,500 hotline calls and sheltering over 300 women, men and children annually.
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic or sexual violence, human trafficking, or stalking, you are not alone. Advocates at the Center for Safety and Empowerment are available to help 24/7 on our free and confidential helpline: 1-888-822-2983.