October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). As a woman and college student, I believe it is up to us, as a people, to work to end domestic violence being that it is an issue that affects everyone. It is not just the victim and survivors responsibility to fight for the end of domestic/partner violence. It should be an equal partnership between all of us. Subsequently, domestic violence does not just happen to one archetype of woman, it is multi-faceted and protean. Especially, in my case, when discussing college campuses, domestic/dating violence is usually oversimplified and all too frequently these reported cases are swept under the rug.
According to the Loveisrespect Project, 43 percent of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. Victim blaming and shaming continues to be issues on college campuses when a survivor speaks out about their experience. Why is there such a push for young college-age women to get involved in DVAM’s week of activities? Because young women between the ages 16-24 experience the highest rate of partner violence and it’s almost triple the national average. College-age women run the highest risk for domestic abuse to take place in their relationships. I have dedicated this month to raising awareness for domestic/partner violence and getting involved with Domestic Violence Awareness Month on my college campus and encouraging others to do the same! Howard University hosted an event to honor survivors of domestic violence on October 20, in partnership with the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Additionally, I participated in #PurpleThursday, the awareness day launched by the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence that’s now gone national with Purple Thursday observances across the country.
It is so important that more students become involved in the fight to end domestic violence because it’s a battle that requires everyone, all genders, to unify under a cause and help those who can’t help themselves. I, as should others, will continue to facilitate conversation throughout the rest of the month and increase consciousness about identifying warning signs of domestic abuse in their own relationships as well as others. The fight starts and ends with the youth of today, so feminists, let’s get in formation.