Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 19: Think Ahead

Today is our second-to-last DVAM Challenge. We hope this October has been a chance of reflection and motivation for you. We hope it has been an important time of awareness for survivors, victims and advocates alike. For friends and family, we hope that you were encouraged to provide support to a loved one experiencing domestic violence. Thank you for taking this journey with us.

Change takes time. It requires that we continually renew our commitment in order to keep our goals on course. With this in mind, we challenge you to plan to stay involved with this issue. Challenge 19 — mark a few days on your calendar, months in the future, with a DVAM-related message. You could select days on which you’d like to volunteer at a local shelter. You could set reminders to reach out to a certain friend who you know is experiencing a rough time. You could mark days on which you’d like to return to our website and evaluate your relationship. You could simply write an encouraging message to yourself on your calendar to remind you that you are worthy of a good relationship.

Please share in the comments below how you are completing this challenge.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 18: Evaluate Your Relationship

Today marks the start of the final week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and our challenge is almost finished. Today’s challenge is about checking in with your own relationship. Run through our warning signs and see if you or your partner is exhibiting abusive behaviors. Even if you feel your relationship is healthy, ask yourself — am I respectful of my partner? What can I improve on?

If you find that your relationship is not healthy or is even abusive, remember there are always advocates here at The Hotline who are ready to talk to you 24/7.

Today’s challenge: please share this image and personally reflect on your relationship.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge: Follower Participation 3

We didn’t think it was possible, but this week’s DVAM Challenge participation has been even greater than last week’s. We are so thankful to have readers, friends/followers and supporters like you that are committed to ending domestic violence. In honor of your contribution, here are a few of this week’s participants.

Thank you again for your participation. We hope that you’ll finish strong and keep up with our DVAM Challenge until the end of the month.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 17: Commit to Saying No More

Today’s challenge #17 is about adding your voice to the collective movement against domestic violence and sexual assault. The NO MORE campaign was started to unify the efforts of the many people working to end violence.

The following is from the NO MORE website:

NO MORE was created  by 50 individuals from many different backgrounds who were frustrated by the fact that even though domestic violence and sexual assault are devastatingly pervasive and widespread– impacting rich, poor, young , old, male, female, white, brown, black, from every region and religion– they aren’t a priority in this country.

There are many ways to get involved with the NO MORE movement. You can download the symbol, you can share a message on a social media site, you can spend time on the website learning about the statistics around these types of violence, you can add your photo to the NO MORE gallery. Today’s challenge is to select one way and get involved. Make sure to visit

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 16: Remember a Victim

We are surrounded by stories of domestic violence and sexual assault. Whether they are reported accurately or are framed as homicides, domestic disturbances or misdemeanors, we encounter these stories on a daily basis. October is an opportunity to shed greater light on the complexities of these stories and to honor the women and men who died as result of violence.

Today for DVAM Challenge 16, commit to remembering a victim of domestic violence. This can be someone you knew personally, a story that captured the attention of your community or even a story of a stranger who you never knew. Together let’s remember these victims. We keep their spirit alive in the work that we do in our communities to prevent and end abuse.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 15: Commit to Ongoing Wellness

At The Hotline, we take the health and wellness of our callers, staff and community seriously. In the spirit of the week’s theme — committing to change — we want to encourage our readers to commit to taking care of themselves. This could mean emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc. No matter where you are in the issue of domestic violence, you deserve to be healthy and happy.

For advocates, this could mean making sure you’re in a good mind space to best help your clients. For friends and family members who are witnessing the painful abuse a loved one is experiencing, this could mean talking to someone about your feelings. For victims, this could mean talking to one of our advocates and safety planning. For a survivor, this could mean having your go-to person to call when you’re tempted to contact your abusive ex.

We recently wrote about moving on emotionally after an abusive relationship. Here are a few of the ideas we outlined for taking care of yourself emotionally.

  • Identify things that help you calm down — taking a warm bath, reading a book or taking deep breaths can help you de-stress
  • Remind yourself why you left — journaling about your abuse can help you remember the reasons that you left and can be particularly helpful if you’re having second thoughts about leaving
  • Identify a call buddy for when you’re missing your ex — talking to a friend can help you resist the urge to reach out to your ex when you’re down
  • Talk to a counselor or join a domestic abuse survivor’s therapy group
  • Talk to your family or friends — community members and neighbors can also be a good resource
  • When an anniversary, birthday, holiday, etc. is coming up, prepare yourself — try to make other plans, set a strong support group in place to help you through emotional times

Your overall wellness is important. For today’s challenge, identify one thing you can do that will improve your health and wellness this week. It doesn’t have to be a big area. It could be as simple as promising yourself a jog after work. It could be choosing to call us at The Hotline and talking with an understanding advocate. It could be spending time with a friend so that you can de-stress. Whatever it is, we challenge you to make one act for your wellness this week and see how good it feels.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 14: Commit to Change

We’re entering the final lap of our DVAM Challenge. Are you still completing the tasks we’ve laid out in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

This week, we’re committing to change. You can commit to change on a personal level, on a community level or on a movement level. We can all make a commitment to take care of ourselves, support our friends and promote healthy relationships in our community. We can be loving and respectful partners, nonjudgmental friends and agents of change where we live.

This week, reflect on the positive goals you’d like to set for yourself. We’ll start this week by collectively committing to the cause of ending domestic violence. Today’s challenge is to share this image with someone you know. Keep in mind the power of your social media channels.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge: Follower Participation 2

We are so thankful that each and every one of you has taken the time to take this DVAM Challenge and to raise awareness of domestic violence. In honor of your contribution, we would like to honor a few of you. Check out this week’s round up of participation.

Thank you again for participating in the DVAM Challenge. Stay tuned next week for more challenges, and don’t forget to tag us or email us a link at when you finish a challenge so that we can give you a shout out in next week’s Storify wrap-up.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 13: Find Your Role

You have the ability to make your community a safer place for men, women and families. Help spread awareness that domestic violence is never acceptable. We can all play a special role in ending violence. For today’s DVAM Challenge 13, please share this image and message.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 12: Post this Handout

Today’s challenge is designed to help you see your impact in your local community. For DVAM Challenge 12, print this handout of domestic violence statistics and post it wherever you think it may help someone. Maybe your gym, coffee shop, school or church.

Information is power, and you have the opportunity to help spread awareness. You never know how this handout could help someone in your community.

Please share with us where you posted your flyer, so that we may recognize you on Friday’s round-up of the week’s challenges.

Click here to download the handout.


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 11: The Journey of Hope

In honor of DVAM, we have teamed up with Verizon for the Journey of Hope. The Journey of Hope is a cross-country bus tour which will help raise awareness of domestic violence and provide resources to those affected by it.

“We are honored to be a part of Verizon’s campaign to help end domestic violence and pleased to partner with a corporation that inspires their employees and community members to get involved in this important social issue,” said our own Katie Ray-Jones, president of The Hotline and The National Dating Abuse Helpline, who will be travelling with the bus for several stops. “Verizon is a key supporter in our mission to prevent this silent epidemic, and we look forward to seeing the communities’ response to our efforts.”

The Journey of Hope kicked off its trip on Oct. 3 in Basking Ridge, N.J. at Verizon’s headquarters with a Walk for Hope event. More than 500 employees joined together to support domestic violence victims and survivors (Verizon pledged to donate $100 to The Hotline for every staff member that attended) and teen recording artist Jasmine Villegas was on hand to offer entertainment to participants.

Throughout the tour, members of the travelling group, including Katie, will speak with people affected by domestic violence and those working to end domestic violence in our communities. Everyone is invited to visit the bus, which will stop in six cities, to share their stories of support, survival, hope and perseverance.

People who visit the bus will also have the opportunity to donate used cell phones to Verizon’s HopeLine project (which we highlighted in DVAM challenge 10). Phones collected through the HopeLine recycling drives are either refurbished and sold or recycled, and the proceeds are donated to organizations that work against domestic violence in the form of cash grants and prepaid Verizon Wireless phones for survivors.

Since the launch of HopeLine in 2001, Verizon has awarded more than $14.2 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies around the country, and nearly 123,000 phones have been handed out to those affected by domestic violence.

At The Hotline, we want to thank Verizon for their longstanding commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of those affected by domestic violence.

DVAM Challenge 11:

Raise awareness and show your support for those affected by domestic violence by wearing a purple piece of clothing. When people ask you about your outfit, tell them about domestic violence and DVAM. And don’t forget to send us a picture of your purple clothes — email us at

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 10: Take a Stand

Our DVAM Challenge is just part of a nationwide effort to unite efforts in ending domestic violence. This week’s theme is “Take a Stand!” To inspire you to make a commitment to ending violence, here are some ideas from organizations, companies and communities participating in DVAM.

Purple Light Night
The Covington Domestic Violence Task Force in Washington encourages residents in their county to exchange the white light bulbs on their front porches for purple bulbs during the month of October. This campaign, called Purple Light Nights, aims to have all residents shine purple light to show that domestic violence has no place in their community. This campaign started locally but soon spread to a global campaign in 23 states, Canada, and Guam. Purple light bulbs are available at most home stores and cost only around $5, so participating in a Purple Light Night is an impactful but inexpensive way to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Flowers on the Lake
Calcasieu Women’s Shelter in Lake Charles, La. hosts an event every October to honor those who have lost their lives to domestic violence. Attendees place flowers into the lake in memory of their loved ones, sing songs and read meaningful poems. Getting together with people you know to memorialize victims of domestic violence is a beautiful way to honor DVAM.

Donate Your Used Cell Phone
Verizon Wireless has shown a longtime commitment to ending domestic violence. In tomorrow’s post, we’ll be highlighting their special bus tour, Journey of Hope. One program you could get involved with is HopeLine by Verizon. This program takes donated cell phones, refurbishes them and then gives them to domestic violence survivors to help them rebuild their lives. Wireless phones can serve as a vital link to emergency and support services and as a reliable connection to employers, family and friends. Phones from all carriers are accepted by HopeLine, so visit the Verizon website to find out how to donate your old device when you decide to upgrade.

Share Information with your Community
Several Texas high schools have partnered with their local sheriff’s department to spread awareness during DVAM. During games, football teams will wear purple stickers on their helmets to support healthy relationships. Games will also feature announcements about domestic violence and information will be passed out to spectators during the game. You too can make a difference by wearing purple. Pin a small ribbon to your shirt and when people ask what it’s for tell them about domestic violence and DVAM.

Decorate Your Home with Purple
Liberty House, a domestic violence program in Georgia, encourages their townspeople to decorate their businesses, doors and mailboxes with purple ribbons to raise awareness. Decorate your house with purple and encourage your neighbors to do the same by sharing domestic violence information with them.

DVAM Challenge 10: for today’s challenge, introduce a purple item to your home or office. We encourage you to pick up a purple lightbulb, tie a purple ribbon to your door or print a purple sign for your space. Please share with us how you are incorporating purple to your space. When someone asks you about the item, be sure to inform them that it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you’d like, you can email a picture to us at

(Preview for tomorrow’s challenge: wear purple! Plan your outfit accordingly)