We’ve made it to October. Each year at this time, Radiant Futures highlights Domestic Violence Awareness Month along with our advocacy and prevention efforts, the raising of survivors’ voices, and our work to eradicate violence in our communities. But this October looks and feels different. In the midst of a pandemic, Radiant Futures has had to adapt to an unprecedented time.
For several months leading up to this important month of awareness, we’ve grappled with some new realities: collective anxiety over coping with an ever-changing unknown; gratitude and appreciation for essential workers who put their lives at risk to keep others safe; the realization of how survivors of abuse have done just that – attempted to survive. With the threat of illness, those affected by violence have become further isolated and silenced, by quarantine and by drastic change in the way our society now functions.
We have seen the marches and the protests, and we have heard the demands for social justice, for racial justice. Now, recent research including some of our own shows a dramatic rise in phone calls to domestic violence hotlines—the inevitable result of quarantining survivors of violence with the very person who may do them harm. As we begin October Domestic Violence Awareness month, it’s now time to go beyond a call for awareness – it is time for action.
We ask our community to reflect on these points as you join us this month:
When you think of the role you play in ending the cycle of violence, how loud is your voice? Do you use your voice in support of others? As you engage with family and friends in conversations about societal structures that contribute to interpersonal violence, do you encourage each other to act? Do you share experiences with those survivors around you? Or, is it someone else’s problem to fix?
Remember this as you join us to break the silence on violence and exploitation in the month of October: we cannot do this work without you. We need each and every individual in our community to understand the influence they have in raising loved children, the impact they have in redirecting gendered and harmful language, and the power of their courage in showing up and speaking out when others are victimized. Only then will our advocates and those working with survivors of domestic violence each day be able to ensure that the world beyond Radiant Futures is invested in creating safe and healthy communities.
To learn how to get involved with Radiant Futures this Domestic Violence Awareness Month, visit our website: https://wtlc.org/dvam-2020