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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month sheds light on victim-survivors and calls for an end to violence inflicted on Indigenous peoples.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) was observed, and Congress later designated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 1989. Three themes remain a strong focus of DVAM events today: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.

Every October during DVAM, advocates and communities across Indian Country and the United States rally together to honor survivors of domestic and sexual violence and support abuse prevention.

October is DVAM
StrongHearts Native Helpline calls on advocates, tribal leaders, reservation and urban Indian community members, service providers and Native organizations to support the movement to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence, which disproportionately affects millions of Natives every year.
Violence against Indigenous peoples began with European contact and has continued to this day, adding up to more than 500 years of abuse. Domestic and sexual violence continues as a tool of colonization and represents a lack of respect for Native peoples.

Native women and men in the United States experience domestic and sexual violence at alarming rates, with more than four in five Natives having experienced some form of violence in their lifetime and more than half experiencing physical violence by an intimate partner in the past year.

Domestic violence has many faces: physical, sexual, emotional, cultural, financial and digital. It doesn’t discriminate and includes violence against children, elders, LGBTQ2S individuals. There is also a strong connection between domestic and sexual violence with thousands of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women.

Get Involved

Annual Statements

StrongHearts Native Helpline Statement for 2021 Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Indigenous Advocacy Organizations Issue Joint Statement in Support of Survivors of Violence for Domestic Violence Awareness Month


October 10, all-day
Indigenous Peoples' Day (second Monday in October)
This holiday celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures.

October 20, all-day
Help honor survivors and raise awareness of domestic violence by wearing purple and sharing pictures on social media using the hashtag #PurpleThursday.
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV) Purple Thursday. To get information on this and other DCCADV DVAM Events, click here:

Additional Resources

Visit the Domestic Violence Awareness Project webpage
Visit the National Network to End Domestic Violence's webpage