October 6, 2020

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). For over thirty years, the Family Sunshine Center and other state and national organizations have dedicated this month to bring greater awareness to domestic violence and its physical, emotional, and economic impact. This October, we are using the #1Thing message as we work to promote prevention, awareness, and support for domestic violence victims and survivors. At Family Sunshine Center, we believe that when each person does just #1Thing, we can make a big impact together. #1Thing you can do to get involved in DVAM 2020 is to:

  • Print our #1Thing pledge sheet, write down your pledge, and snap a selfie of yourself holding your sign.  You can either send your selfie to our communication team who will post the images on FSC’s social media (please include your name and affiliation (if applicable) with your image. You can also post your selfie on your own social media with the hashtags #1Thing, #DVAM2020, and #familysunshine. By sharing these images we hope to encourage others to take action and do their #1Thing. You can access our pledge sheet here and you can send your photo by clicking here.
  • Participate in the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV) balloon release commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month 11 am October 16, 2020 at Oak Park.
  • Join one of our prevention and education events happening on Facebook Live this month. Each week, we will be highlighting a different prevention or education tool.

Week One: Domestic Violence and the Church
Victims of domestic violence can be rich or poor, any age, any race, or any gender. Churches and the faith-based community are in a unique position to provide hope and a voice for victims of domestic abuse and violence. While we would like to think that it cannot happen in our churches, the truth is domestic violence happens in many congregations. This session will explore the role that church religious and lay leaders can play in helping victims recover, heal, and move forward to live free of violence.

Week Two: Domestic Violence: The Impact on Children
Children are often the invisible victims of domestic violence. Living in a home with domestic violence is often very traumatic for children and can lead to a range of serious long term consequences. 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence each year and children who witness domestic violence are 3 times more likely to engage in violent behavior. In this session we will discuss the effects domestic violence has on children. Hannah Banach, a CARES Therapist, will share the signs that a child has experienced trauma and how to get them the help they need.

Week Three: Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Domestic violence is an incredibly common crime. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that 1 in 3 women will be a victim of abuse in their lifetime. However, the sad fact remains that many abuse victims experience fear and shame that keep them from sharing the abuse with their loved ones, let alone report it to the police. In this session, we will reveal the nine signs of a healthy relationship and the warning signs of abuse.

Week Four: How to help a friend in an abusive relationship
It can be hard to know what to do when your family member or friend has a violent or controlling partner. Emotionally abusive relationships often affect more than just the people directly involved. This session will address how to recognize the signs of abuse as well as things that you can do to safely help someone you care about in their time of need.

Preventing domestic violence requires the collective action and power of individuals, families, institutions, and systems – each whose #1Thing adds a valuable and powerful component to transforming our communities. Together, Awareness + Action = Social Change!

What #1Thing will you do to prevent domestic abuse during #DVAM2020 and beyond?