NNEDV Welcomes October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October 1, 2009
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) today is heralding the arrival of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and urging members of the media and the public to take a stand against domestic abuse.“
Join the National Network in taking a stand against domestic violence and take action that will help survivors,” said Sue Else, NNEDV’s president. “The economic downturn is exacerbating domestic violence, and victims of domestic abuse urgently need everyone’s help.”
Else noted that the economy does not cause domestic violence, but in abusive relationships, factors associated with a bad economy can increase the frequency and severity of abuse.
“Job losses, the lack of affordable health care, the housing crisis and a host of other conditions are increasing abuse and leaving survivors with fewer options to escape,” she said. “The demand for services is going up, but funding for services is going down.”
Governmental entities, corporations and individuals are tightening their budgets and are funding life-saving programs at reduced levels across the nation.
The most extreme example is California, where the governor completely eliminated state funding for domestic violence services. Other states have seen funding reductions, but California represents the most shocking of these reckless cuts.
This year, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is particularly meaningful. The movement against domestic abuse is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, originally authored by then-Senator Joe Biden. This year is also the 25th anniversary of the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act. Both are critical federal laws that provide funding for services and the justice system’s responses to intimate partner abuse.
“These laws have made an amazing difference in our ability to address domestic violence. Across the country, federal, state and local laws are working to serve countless survivors and saving lives, but we need to do more,” Else said. “Still, an average of three women are murdered daily by someone who says ‘I love you.’ This is unacceptable and preventable. Domestic violence affects us all, and it tears at the fabric of our communities. Every day, men, women and children experience the tragic effects of domestic violence.”
“In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, let us renew efforts to invest in life-saving shelters and other critical domestic violence services like counseling and emergency hotlines,” Else continued.
Members of the public can take a stand for survivors of abuse by volunteering at or donating to local, state and national domestic violence service providers and supporting the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act.
“Please join NNEDV and take a stand. Together, we can make a difference,” said Else.