In this newspaper’s continuing commitment to highlight National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October, here are 13 ways to stand against domestic violence.
13. Educate yourself. Read as much as you can about what domestic violence is, how it affects victims (including pets) while it is ongoing, and, if they escape, after they are away from the abuser.
12. Learn how you can help if someone you know lives in a violent environment.
11. Write letters to the editor, or start a conversation on your blog or on Facebook encouraging others to take a no-tolerance stance against domestic violence.
10. Write letters to your legislators encouraging them to support the funding of domestic violence prevention and advocacy groups in the state and make the funding happen. Remind them that you cannot say you are taking a stand against domestic violence, but diminish or discontinue funding the agencies that work with the victims of the abuse.
9. Advocate for domestic violence awareness programming in your schools (and not just high schools).
8. Donate an old cell phone for domestic violence survivors to New Hope For Women (NHFW) or The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (download a mailing label from its site).
7. Work with local organizations such as New Hope For Women New Hope For Women serving Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties, The Family Violence Project The Family Violence Project (in Brunswick), or the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine to help create awareness within your community.
6. Be a hotline volunteer. For example, NHFW holds training sessions for individuals responding to its Help Hotline number. Call New Hope to see when another training is planned: 207-594-2128.
5. Encourage men in your community to take a stand against domestic violence and to help teach their sons, nephews and grandsons not to use physical, verbal or implied abuse against others.
4. Consider using your home as a safe house for women, children and pets. Call you local advocacy group for more information; never offer this service on your own.
3. Display purple lights, the official color designated for domestic violence, in your home and place of employment. Ask local police departments, hospitals, clinics, schools, churches, etc., to do the same.
2. Make a monetary donation to domestic violence prevention/advocacy groups that serve your area. If you wish to donate clothing, call your local group to see if they accept clothing or find out what group does.
1. Attend or hold an event during the month of October to raise awareness about domestic violence.