There has been debate within the domestic violence field regarding the need and value of moving Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) from October to another month. Several domestic violence prevention agencies have suggested that DVAM is now in direct “competition” with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the United Way General Campaign, reducing the impact of efforts to call attention to and mobilize response to domestic violence. Some advocates believe that changing the month is too complicated and confusing and/or will raise new issues which may negate any value to be gained or already achieved. And others argue that it will take more than changing the month to resolve “competition” issues.
The Family Violence Prevention Fund, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Network to End Domestic Violence and National Resource Center on Domestic Violence are asking advocates around the country to take a survey on this important issue.
The national groups are requesting input from national, state and local domestic violence program executive directors – or their designees – who have first-hand knowledge and experience planning DVAM activities and/or fundraisers. Feedback will be used to inform decisions related to any change in the timing of DVAM and to help guide transitions if the field endorses changing to a new month.
May and September are being offered as alternatives because of weather considerations in many parts of the country, because these months fall outside of United Way campaign periods, because there are no other large awareness campaigns during these two months, and because they have been most frequently mentioned in previous surveys of the field.
Visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=rATVQM4FsDGzLhTnRXhrKg_3d_3d to take the survey and complete it no later than Friday, July 10. Each domestic violence agency should complete only ONE survey.
Any change in the timing of DVAM would not occur until 2010 at the earliest, and support will be provided to the field throughout any transition. Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2009 will take place in October, as in previous years.