This and every October, Philadelphia recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence can affect anyone — regardless of your class, race, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

In the United States, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. According to the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. About 1 in 6 women and 1 in 14 men have experienced contact sexual violence by an intimate partner.

Domestic Violence is more than just physical abuse — it is a pattern of behaviors that a partner uses against the other person with the purpose of gaining and maintaining power and control in the relationship. These behaviors can include: isolation, financial deprivation, stalking, emotional abuse, and threats to harm partner, children or pets.

Many people often ask, “Why do people stay in abusive relationships?” Leaving is difficult and even dangerous. Most domestic violence homicides happen after someone has left or attempted to leave an abusive partner. Survivors face many common barriers to safety including fear of: death, physical harm, child custody/stability, homelessness, cultural/religious shame, deportation and many more. Leaving is a process and survivors need support and options.

Always call 911 in an emergency. If you believe someone needs help, let them know they can call the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at any time at 1-866-723-3014

What you can do

There are several ways you can assist someone who needs help, including:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the resources and services available in Philadelphia.
  2. Attend one, or all, of the Domestic Violence Awareness Month events listed below.
  3. Join the conversation on Twitter by retweeting other individuals or organizations using #DVAM2018.
  4. Share this blog on your own Twitter and Facebook profiles.
  5. Refer them to the PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2018 Events

Amplifying Our Voices
Wednesday, October 17 | 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Germantown Friends School Free Library, 5418 Germantown Avenue
This evening of poetry sharing and community building features survivors and poets sharing their works and stories. It’s an evening devoted to bringing domestic violence out of the dark. This event is hosted by Women In Transition.

Speak Out! On Domestic Violence in the Queer Community
Monday, October 22 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street
This panel presentation organized by William Way will focus on domestic/intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ community. The event is sponsored by the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs and the Philadelphia Office of Domestic Violence Strategies. There will be counselors on site if needed.

Survivor Soliloquies Historias de Sobrevivientes
Tuesday, October 30 | 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Pan American Charter School Gym, 2800 North American Street
This event hosted by Congreso de Latinos Unidos features a series of monologues performed in both Spanish and English that represent individuals’ lived experiences of violence, survival, and empowerment.

Post by Azucena Ugarte (Director, Office of DV Strategies) and Adrianna Rosario (Americore VISTA, Office of DV Strategies)