Intimate partner violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking happens each day. The number of people affected by these types of violence and the impact these types of violence can have on victims, friends, and families are of epic proportions. In effort to raise awareness of these types of violence, and to remember the many people who have been affected by such violence, the President has proclaimed curtain months for the awareness of these.
National Stalking Awareness Month (JANUARY)
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. This commemorative month was born from the tragic death of Peggy Klinke, a woman who was murdered by a stalker in 2003. Debbie Riddle, Peggy Klinke’s sister, reached out to the Stalking Resource Center to ask how she could improve law enforcement’s response to stalking. With that one call starting a series of events, which ultimately led to a Congressional resolution on stalking. In January 2004, the National Center for Victims of Crime launched the very first National Stalking Awareness Month and has been supporting communities across the country in their stalking awareness activities.
National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month (FEBRUARY)
National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness about dating violence in teen and young adult relationships. Young people across the country have been working for years to end dating violence. Advocates have urged Congress to include the issues of teen dating violence in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005. In 2006, Congress dedicated the first full week of February as National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Week. In 2010, Congress extended the weeklong commemoration to span the entire month of February.
National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (APRIL)
While organized protests sexual violence and other violence against women have taken place for many years, it wasn’t until the 1980s – with October being designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month that these activities started to become more coordinated. In the late 1980s, sexual assault advocates and anti-sexual activists followed suit and designated one week in April as Sexual Assault Awareness Week. By the late 1990s, advocates were coordinating activities to raise awareness of sexual assault throughout the entire month of April and National Sexual Assault Month was born.
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October)
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity, celebrated over 30 years ago, In October 1981, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence observed the first Day of Unity to unite advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and children. The Day of Unity soon stretched to a weeklong occasion recognized by a variety of activities and events occurring at the local, state, and national levels. The violence against women movement observed its first Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 1987. In 1989, Congress officially dedicated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and has passed legislation doing so every year thereafter.
Take a Stand: Domestic Violence is not a private family matter. It is not an individual issue. It is not just a women’s issue. And, the police cannot solve this problem alone. Every single person can and should play a role in resolving Domestic Violence.