This and every October, Philadelphia recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Affecting families and couples of all kinds, domestic violence isn’t a private matter, contrary to what abusers often claim. It affects all aspects of society, from our children’s schools to our workplaces to the criminal justice system.

As such, it requires a cooperative, shared response. And, victims deserve our steadfast support.

What you can do

There are four ways you can raise awareness and support those affected by domestic violence right now.

  1. Attend one, or all, of the Domestic Violence Awareness Month events listed below and familiarize yourself with the resources and services available in Philadelphia.
  2. Join the conversation on Twitter by retweeting others or service organizations or even by tweeting yourself using #DVAM2017.
  3. Share a photo of yourself wearing purple in solidarity using the hashtags #PaintPhillyPurple and #DVAM2017.
  4. Share this blog on your own Twitter and Facebook profiles.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2017 Events

Women Against Abuse: iPledge Campaign
Wednesday, October 4 | 12:00 p.m.
Courtyard, City Hall
This short ceremony honors City officials committed to helping end domestic violence. Attendees and community members will then have the chance to take a pledge to speak out when they see or hear domestic violence in their communities. This event is organized by Women Against Abuse.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month in City Council
Thursday, October 5 | 10:00 a.m.
Philadelphia City Council Chambers, City Hall
Watch in-person, on public access Channel 64, or online as City Council recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month and participates in #PaintPhillyPurple.

Men Can Rally
Wednesday, October 11 | 11:00 a.m.
Thomas Paine Plaza, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
This rally organized by Lutheran Settlement House honors men who speak out against violence, encouraging men across Philadelphia and the world to speak out themselves. It also focuses on the fact that intimate-partner violence does not discriminate and can happen to anyone.

Amplifying Our Voices
Wednesday, October 18 | 6:30 p.m.
Germantown Friends School Free Library, 5418 Germantown Avenue
This evening of poetry sharing and community building features survivors and poets sharing their works and stories. It’s an evening devoted to bringing domestic violence out of the dark. This event is hosted by Women in Transition.

Survivor Soliloquies
Thursday, October 26 | 4:30 p.m.
Pan American Charter School, 2830 North American Street
Survivor Soliloquies/Historias de Sobrevivientes are monologues performed in both Spanish and English that represent individuals’ lived experiences of violence, survival, and empowerment. Hosted by Congreso de Latinos’ Latina Domestic Violence Program. 

What the City is doing

Last year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Mayor Jim Kenney established the Office of Domestic Violence Strategies (ODVS) to improve the City’s ability to respond to domestic violence.

After just one year, the office has grown, including by adding an AmeriCorps VISTA service member, and is already starting to make an impact.

Given the nature of domestic violence, much of the work has been behind-the-scenes: meetings with community organizations and City agencies to assess needs or opportunities to strengthen existing initiatives, like Shared Safety: the plan to create systemic, citywide change to better respond to domestic violence.

In assessing needs, ODVS identified training opportunities for workers in City health and human services agencies, too. Collaborating with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services (DBHIDS), the Philadelphia DV Collaboration, and Menergy, ODVS worked with the Behavioral Health Training and Education Network to offer a series of ten trainings over the next fiscal year for City employees.

And, together with SmarterU, ODVS developed content for an introductory online course that will be available to most health and human services employees and providers by the end of 2017.

The Office of Domestic Violence Strategies will continue with our efforts to create a citywide response to domestic violence that takes into account the needs of the survivors, their children, and the person who is doing the abuse.

Working toward a domestic violence free Philly is going to take all of us doing our part — together.

Always call 911 in an emergency. If you believe someone needs help, let them know they can call the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at any time at 1-866-723-3014.