October is Domestic Violence Awarness Month

  • Published
  • By Airman Hanna Smith
  • 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

October is designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

DVAM evolved from ‘Day of Unity’ held in October 1981 and the idea was conceived by Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.

The ‘Day of Unity’ soon evolved into an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state and national levels. The activities conducted consisted of the common themes of mourning lives lost to domestic violence, celebrating those who survived and connecting those who work to end domestic violence.

In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline.

In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112, designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since. Each year the ‘Day of Unity’ is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic violence is now defined to include all acts of physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence that may be committed by a family member or intimate partner. Family violence is a broader term, often used to include child abuse, elder abuse and other violent acts between family members.

Purple is the designated color for domestic violence awareness because the color is meant to be a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor and dedication.

If you or you suspect someone is being abused, please do not hesitate to call the numbers below to get help or additional information:


DoD Safe-helpline: (887) 995-5247


Local Sources:


Helpline 24/7: (413) 687-3543

Psychological Health: (413) 557-2456

Behavioral Health Network Crisis Services: (413) 733-6661

Airman & Family Readiness: (413) 557-3024

Chaplain (NCO-in Charge for appointment): (413) 557-2193


Editor's note: Article courtesy of: Dr. Annette Peartree-Mandley, Violence Prevention Integrator (VPI), 439 AW