October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

This October marks the 25th observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 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’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels. These activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived and connecting those who work to end violence.

In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year, the first national toll-free hotline was begun. In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress. Such legislation has passed every year since. See the Presidential Proclamation for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2012.

Domestic violence is a serious, but preventable, crime that affects millions of Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of physical violence, rape or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States–more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.

“Domestic Violence Awareness Month serves as a time to focus our efforts on increasing awareness about this issue. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or educational level. It is not a private issue; it is a community issue,” said Jami Gaff Bueker, Hubbard House Chief Development Officer.

Hubbard House, the domestic violence center serving Duval and Baker counties in Northeast Florida, is encouraging everyone to Go Purple this Domestic Violence Awareness Month by participating in its Go Purple Campaign, a month-long public awareness campaign, beginning October 1, to promote awareness and the prevention of domestic violence.

Share your Go Purple photos on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hubbardhouseinc or join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #igopurple.

“It is going to take all of us coming together to end domestic violence. Participating in our Go Purple Campaign is a very easy and small way to make a very big difference,” said Bueker.

Hubbard House’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month “Go Purple” activities include:

31n31 – Oct. 1-31: Hubbard House will post educational statistics and/or blogs relating to domestic violence every day during October. Follow the posts at www.facebook.com/hubbardhouseinc or www.twitter.com/hubbardhouse and share them to help increase awareness.

GO PURPLE ONLINE – Oct. 1-31:Go Purple online by changing your social media profile picture to Hubbard House’s purple ribbon icon (which can be found at www.facebook.com/hubbardhouseinc or www.twitter.com/hubbardhouse). Don’t forget to encourage your family and friends to do the same.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH PRESS CONFERENCE – Oct. 2: Hubbard House, in partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO), the State Attorney’s Office (SAO), and Northeast Florida law enforcement agencies and domestic violence centers, will hold a press conference announcing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Police Memorial Building at 501 E. Bay Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202. The press conference will raise public awareness about domestic violence and its effects on our community and will serve as the official release of the 2011 Domestic Violence Fatality Report. The report is an examination of domestic violence homicides in DuvalCounty from Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2011, and an analysis of domestic violence homicides from December 1996 through December 2011.

CLOTHES LINE PROJECT EXHIBIT – Oct. 3:The Clothesline Project is an art exhibit created by domestic violence survivors at Hubbard House. Survivors tell their story by using words and/or artwork to decorate a shirt and once finished, they hang their shirt on the “clothesline.” The Clothesline Project Exhibit will be displayed at the downtown First Wednesday Art Walk, October 3 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at The Carling.

BREAK THE SILENCE DAY – Oct. 11: In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, show your support by wearing a purple item of clothing or a purple ribbon throughout the day to help raise awareness. In addition to wearing purple, individuals and local businesses are encouraged to make a donation, host a community benefit or collection drive, or learn more about the issue of domestic violence on this day.

18TH ANNUAL BARBARA ANN CAMPBELL MEMORIAL BREAKFAST – Oct. 11:Hubbard House will host its annual awareness breakfast, presented by the Alan and Pam Green Family Foundation, Mrs. James S. Taylor and J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, Thursday, Oct. 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel. This 500+ person breakfast is held each year to honor the lives of those who have survived domestic violence, to remember those who have died at the hands of a loved one, and to connect those who work to end domestic violence in our community. Visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org/ for more information or to reserve your seat.

For more information on the Go Purple Campaign or Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org/.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House 24-hour Domestic Violence hotline at 904-354-3114 or 800-500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded as the first domestic violence shelter in Florida in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children, and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic childcare, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

By Brittany Mitrick and Ashley Johnson Scott

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