Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the first Day of
Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition
Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). The intent was to connect
battered women's advocates across the nation who were working
to end violence against women and children. The Day of Unity
soon became a special week when a range of activities was
conducted at the local, state and national levels.
activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors
but had a common theme: mourning those who have died because
of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and
connecting those who work to end violence.
October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was
held. In conjunction, 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. The Day of Unity is celebrated on the first Monday in
October 1994, NCADV, in conjunction with MS. Magazine, created
the Remember My Name project, a national
registry to increase public awareness of domestic violence
deaths. Since then, NCADV has been collecting information on
incidents of women who have been killed by an intimate partner
and produces a poster each October for Domestic Violence
Awareness Month, listing the names of those documented in the
DVAM is a national movement that works to bring domestic
violence and its prevention to the front of public debate.
Every October, DVAM activities are planned across the country.
National, statewide, and community-based domestic violence
prevention and victim service organizations around the nation
mark DVAM with recognition ceremonies, memorial activities,
public education campaigns, community outreach events, news
conferences and much more.
from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Packet, National
Coalition Against Domestic Violence