Ascend Justice

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the “Day of Unity” in October 1981 observed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national levels. The activities conducted 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 marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline.  In 1989 the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort.  Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

— Adapted from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resource Manual National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Why Purple

Domestic violence awareness is associated with the color purple. Throughout October, people decorate their lives in the color purple – from t-shirts and ribbons to nail polish and hair color. The color purple is a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending violence. It is a salute to survivors and those we have lost to domestic violence.

Raising awareness of domestic violence is an important piece of working to end the cycle of violence. One in four women and one in seven men in the United States will be affected by domestic violence in their lifetime. If you have not experienced domestic violence in your own relationships, then chances are you know someone who has been or may currently be in an abusive situation.

We celebrated Purple Thursday on October 20th, the national day of action, where we wore purple and posted to social justice.


What You Can Do

Hear Survivor Stories

get help now


if you are in immediate danger


24/7 Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline


(877) 863-6338

Orders of Protection

Ascend Justice Remote OP Hotline:
Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm