The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence



Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resources by NCADV


reposted from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website

DVAM Resources and Activities


  • Plan as far ahead as possible and involve battered women and  children as much as possible.
  • Contact your state coalition or network to coordinate and  strengthen efforts in your state and region.
  • Be sure that the media is aware of your plans. The suggested national observance is a candlelight ceremony  on or near the National Day of Unity to  remember those who have suffered and died from domestic violence and to celebrate the work  being done to end violence. Choose a significant public place to hold the vigil.
  • Be creative. Include music, poetry, dance,  moments of silence, and stories shared by women.
  • Purple is the color for  the Month’s activities. Wear purple ribbons to bring national  awareness to the issues faced by battered women and their children.
  • Start small if you wish, but plan now to do  something during October. Make Domestic Violence Awareness Month part of your evolving  herstory.

Activities and Ideas

  • Ribbon Campaign: Distribute purple ribbons to clergy, police chiefs, judges, librarians, emergency room personnel, and others in your community.
  • Table Tent Campaign: Print table tents with a reminder that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and information about services and how to access them. Distribute table tents to area restaurants and hospital cafeterias.
  • Utility Company Campaign: Ask local utility companies to include a message in their October bills. (Sometimes banks are also willing to include information in their monthly statements.)
  • Library Displays: Contact public libraries in your area and provide them with materials for a display. Church Campaign: Send a mass mailing to all religious institutions in your area asking them to address the issue from the pulpit or in their newsletter during October.
  • Children’s Campaign: Have children from the shelter write thank you cards with painted hand prints on them to be distributed to police departments, judges, probation officers and prosecutors in the county.
  • Chili Cook-Off: Have a chili cooking contest with prizes and entertainment. Invite individual cooks, teams and restaurants to compete, with tasting open to the public. The proceeds benefit the local shelter.
  • Clothesline Project Display: Display tee-shirts created by survivors of domestic violence in a public place. The shirts depict their stories, their pain and their hopes. Teen Dating Violence Essay Contest: Hold essay contests in area schools with an awards ceremony.
  • Wish List Drive: Put posters in area beauty salons displaying the shelter’s wish list and making literature and information available. For every item contributed, the person’s name is entered in a drawing for a prize.


Legislate for: Enhanced Penalties for Family Violence in the Presence of Minors

The Risks and Unintended Consequences


Society often looks for ways to offer greater protection for children who witness family violence.  One remedy that is frequently proposed is enhanced penalties for assault and battery against a family or household member when a child is present.  While on the surface this would seem to be an appropriate solution, the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance has concerns that such an enhancement puts children at greater risk of physical and emotional harm and has other unintended consequences.

Enhanced Penalties put Children at Greater Risk

  • To prove h/she present, the child may be required to testify against a parent or other adult in the home, putting the child in the middle of an already volatile situation.
  • If a child testifies against the offender, the offender and in some instances the non-offending parent may retaliate against the child, putting the child’s safety at risk.
  • If the child is afraid of the offender, and/or does not want to testify against a parent or loved one, s/he may feel that it is necessary to perjure him/herself in order to protect the family.
  • The offender, non-offending parent or others may blame the child for the enhanced penalty (jail time or fine) and therefore the child may blame him/herself for the violence and effect of the penalty on the family.


Actions Requested by VSDVAA

Below are three alternatives to enhancing penalties or creating a misdemeanor for when a minor is present during an assault and battery of a family or household member:

  • Support increased funding and availability of services for children and teens who witness and/or are impacted by family abuse.  This could include services in domestic violence programs, child advocacy centers and supervised visitation centers.
  • When preparing the pre-sentencing report, include information about the presence of a minor during the incident and the impact of the violence on the child or teen.
  • During the sentencing phase, consider the impact of the violence on the minor.


For more information, contact Stacy Ruble at Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (VSDVAA) at:  804-377-0335 or

reposted from the Action Alliance website:

The Continuum of Sexual Abuse

Many people ask what are the definitions of sexual violence/abuse.  Today’s column focuses on identifying what is sexual abuse/violence, rape, and coercion.

The Continuum of Sexual Abuse

Abuse of Sexuality is harassment that occurs when somebody does not conform to traditional gender stereotypes or being punished through the use of sex.

Witness Activity is showing a child pornographic materials and unwanted exposure to one or more other people engaging in sexual behavior.

Advances/Seduction is unwanted sexual advances and situations in which seductive dynamics are disguised or confusing.

Coercion is being pressured into participating in unwanted sexual activity.

Physical manipulation is placing a child’s hand on another person’s genitals or other body location(s) that stimulate a response and touching a child’s genitals or other body locations.

Sexual Invasion(coerced or forced) is the insertion or penetration of any orifice of a child’s body with a penis, finger, or an object of any sort and may involve the use of weapons, alcohol, drugs, etc.

Institutionally sanctioned sexual contact is the overt or covert sexual contact by anyone representing or perceived to be representing an institution, this may include agencies that are caretaking, religious, recreational, educational, etc.

This list was supplied by Jim Struve, LCSW at the National Sexual Assault Forum being held this week in Alexandria, Virginia

Ways to Support DV Awareness #24 – Walk a Mile in my Shoes

Plan a Walk a Mile In My Shoes event to raise awareness and funds for your local center.

October 24, 2010 Walk A Mile In My Shoes. Byrd Park Vita Course 09:00 a. m. – 1:00 p.m. Join us for a walk to discuss the children living in homes where Domestic Violence occurs frequently. Donate clothing, cell phones and shoes to help these families in times of need. We are focused on family relationships, friendships, and encouraging everyone to become empowered to help a friend affected by domestic violence. For additional information please contact Sgt. Carol D. Adams at 4th Precinct or 646-4105.

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