October’s Actions Will Highlight The Impact And Scope of Intimate Partner Violence—In All Its Forms
OTR Statement by Christian F. Nunes
WASHINGTON, D.C. — 35 years ago, October was designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) with the purpose of uplifting survivors, organizations, and communities who are working to combat ending violence against women. In the U.S., alone, nearly 24 people per minute are survivors of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. Through the work done around domestic violence and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), we have learned of the many factors that influence the cycle of domestic violence for women, especially those in marginalized communities.
Misogyny, healthcare, and socio-economic status are some of the key factors that influence domestic violence. However, in recent studies, researchers have found cybersecurity, climate disasters, and differences in education status affect the likelihood of domestic violence and IPV in a household.
Ending domestic violence against women takes an intersectional approach because it is not caused by one single factor. This is why we take this opportunity during October’s monthlong observance of DVAM to raise awareness, sharpen the focus, and rededicate ourselves to the purpose of strengthening support for survivors and finally achieving an end to domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence.
NOW supports legislation to make this practice illegal, allows victims to sue violators, enables courts to award punitive damages, and includes measures that keep perpetrators from repeating the offense. Recent legislation like the FLASH Act, signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and a similar law passed in Virginia, drew inspiration from a survey conducted by Bumble, which found that nearly one out of every two women said they’d received an unsolicited nude in their lifetime.
We also recognize that under the leadership of the Biden Administration, the VAWA Reauthorization Act was finally signed into law, strengthening and expanding protections that have been long overdue. But we also recognize how much more needs to be done.
Outside of enshrining laws that provide survivors with the ultimate protections, we must increase funding and institute community-based resources to support and implement the laws we put into place. We must work to close the systemic gaps that influence domestic violence and IVP. Additionally, we will remain dedicated to our mission of changing society’s perspective on women and their bodily autonomy.
For more DVAM resources, please visit our Ending Violence Against Women Core Issues webpage. Together, we will end this pandemic of violence against women.
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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.