June 28, 2014

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

October is the national Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). While it is important to speak up and fight for justice in the society, it is also crucial to take care of our own family members and friends who may have been the victims of domestic violence behind the invisible walls of households.

DVAM was evolved from the First Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women advocate across the nation and end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a range of activities and campaigns in regional, state, and national levels.

Despite the significant progress was made in reducing violence against women and children, there is still a long way to go. Myriad numbers of weak individuals still face the highest rates of domestic violence. According to the statistics around the domestic violence, in the United States, one in every four women experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner at some point in their lifetimes. Over 15 million children witness violence in their homes each year. Most incidents are never reported to the police.

In accordance to the original intent of protecting the weak individuals from domestic abuse and improve the grim statistics around the domestic violence, Senator Taylor and other political leaders introduced Senate Bill 442 on December 16, 2013. If the bill was passed, it could greatly enhance the movement because it aimed to implement the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act. However, the general-business floor period was adjourned on April 3, 2014and failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1.

Albeit passing legislation is important in the matters of raising the awareness of such an important issue, it is not the only way to accomplish the goal. In the interim of waiting for a successful legislation to be enacted, as democratic citizens of the United States, we can voice out our concerns and raise the awareness across the nation by participating on various campaigns and activates.

“1 is 2 Many” campaign is a Whitehouse-sponsored campaign that is being conducted to highlight the activists’ efforts and add weight on the voice of myriads of people who are concerned with the domestic violence and violence against women. Along with President Obama and Vice President Biden, many celebrities and corporate leaders participated on this campaign and Wisconsin should not be an exception of this movement. Following is the schedule of events that will be held in Wisconsin on September and October.

  • AIAA, End Abuse, and WCASA Fall Statewide Directors Meeting

September 10 & 11, 2014, Landmark Resort, Egg Harbor

  • 9th Annual Together We Can End Domestic Violence Luncheon

September 16, 2014, Monona Terrace Convention Center, One John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI

  • Off the Beaten Path

October 2, 2014, Eastern Racine County and Western Racine County

October 9, 2014, Western Racine County

  • Overcoming Obstacles 5K & Power of Purple

October 4, 2014, Pitchard Park, Racine

October 11, 2014, Old Settler’s Park, Racine

Many people may assert participating on these kinds of events will do nothing. Indeed, it would be impossible to achieve an immediate change in the society. However the gradual effect we can bring to the community by participating on these events will eventually be noticed by others and make a huge difference. Ergo, in celebrating the Domestic Violence Awareness Month, let’s participate on these events and campaigns to make a better society.