Domestic Violence, The Shadow Pandemic

Today starts a National Week of Action recommended by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).  With hashtag #EVERY1KNOWSOME1 reminds the nation that this is Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month, designed to increase awareness and understanding of a topic not often brought into the open. I say MEN & Women STEP FORWARD. Domestic violence is NOT a thing of the past. Instead of diminishing, it keeps growing in our societies. One in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence mostly from an intimate partner. Campaigns such as “ENOUGH, NO MORE,” “There’s No Excuse for Violence or Abuse”, “SPEAK OUT”, “REAL MEN DON’T HIT,” “ME TOO,” still haven’t “Put The Nail In It.”

With the outbreak of COVID-19  all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified.  This is known as Shadow Pandemic (report of UN WOMEN emerging data). The Shadow Pandemic has no geographic borders or boundaries. It exists and it is growing in all neighborhoods and among most cultures. Exacerbating factors include, health and money worries,  aftermath of wars, cramped living conditions, isolation with abuser, codependency. A global collective effort is needed to stop it. Everyone has a role to play. MEN & Women STEP FORWARD. This is the time to elevate the visibility of community resources available to help, to engage policymakers to enact change, and to celebrate the strength and resiliency of the brave survivors in our lives and in our communities.

Here are recommendations by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) for a Week of Action:

Media Monday (10/18): Share a piece of media on your own social channels that bring awareness to domestic violence
Twitter Chat Tuesday (10/19): Join NNEDV 3:00-4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, 10/19 as they create conversation around NRCDV’s DVAM theme: “No Survivor Justice Without Racial Justice.” 
Do Work Wednesday (10/20): What does “do work” mean? Well, you all have a role to play in ending domestic violence. Today, donate to support the work being done in your country or communities. Share and follow your local program’s social accounts. Look into volunteering at your local program.
Purple Thursday (10/21): It’s our favorite day of #DVAM: #PurpleThursday! Wear purple today to show your support for survivors and your commitment to ending violence. Get the Purple Thursday printable, frames, and more  from on line, or copy the one in this article
• Philanthropy Friday (10/22): Survivors and programs urgently need financial support. Make your gift and make a difference.  I donate to Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA)  for their work with shelters in Armenia. 
• Speak Up Saturday (10/23): Policy and advocacy are key to our work to end domestic violence, and your voice is needed to make a difference. Sign up to receive action alerts from local and national organizations.
• Sharing Sunday (10/24): Domestic violence can happen to anyone, and it’s likely happening to someone close to you. Today is a perfect day to share resources.

Make a vow to STEP FORWARD. Remind the nation that there are still countless people–victims and survivors, their children and families, their friends and family, their communities–impacted by domestic violence. We, all of us, should not stop until society has zero tolerance for domestic violence and until all victims and survivors can be heard. MEN & Women, STEP FORWARD

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