In October, we observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), a designated time to bring awareness tp domestic abuse and the resources available to those who may be suffering from it. The month began in 1918 as a "Day of Unity" to connect advocates against abuse and has since evolved into a full month via Congress.
Great progress has been made, like the passing of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, but domestic violence is still a pressing issue around the world and requires effective change to help reduce it.
This year, Vector Solutions is encouraging Higher Education institutions to utilize and get creative with their resources to empower students, faculty, and staff to speak up if they are suffering or know someone suffering from domestic violence.
Understanding the Numbers
To fully understand the role of domestic violence on campus, let's look at the numbers:
- 1 in 4 women above the age of 18 experience severe intimate partner violence. (1 in 9 for men.)
- On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
- Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
- 52% of students believe it is not appropriate to get involved and fear that by reporting the abuse, they may harm their own friendship with the victim or abuser. Source: NCADV.
As research shows, domestic violence continues to be an issue across our campuses nationwide and one method of reducing domestic violence is encouraging campus members to speak up, or safely get involved, if they suspect domestic violence is occurring.
Four Tips to Empower Campus Members to Speak Up
To reduce instances of domestic abuse on campus and throughout the world, it's going to require meaningful and deliberate change - which college and university officials can play an important role in.
As you observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month at your institution, remember to encourage campus members to speak up or out about domestic violence. We've put together four proven methods here for you:
- Implement Bystander Intervention and Sexual Violence Training – Train campus members on how to identify sexual violence and bystander intervention skills to better understand what it entails and how to effectively and safely help.
- Campus-Wide Social Media Campaigns – Promote resources for campus members to better understand what domestic violence, or any type of sexual violence, entails and how to report it or to get help. (Use our PSA to help empower your campus members.)
3. Ongoing Training – It is critical that students, faculty, and staff are trained on an annual basis on sexual violence, so that they can better understand it and the role they play on campus to reduce it.
4. Anonymous Reporting – Implement an anonymous reporting system on your campus, so that campus members can safely and anonymously report instances of domestic violence or sexual violence without fearing retaliation. (Learn More About SafeColleges Alert - Our Anonymous Reporting System)
Preview Our Sexual Violence Program
Our powerful and engaging sexual violence prevention training is designed to help colleges and universities change student behaviors and attitudes about consent and bystander intervention as well as the realities of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and more.