October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and The Aurora Center hosts and co-sponsors events to educate and motivate the campus community to address this serious issue.
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Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" in October 1981 conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national levels.
The activities conducted were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence. The Silent Witness Project is often observed during DVAM made up of painted red, life sized figures with shields that tell the story of individual women and others who died as a result of domestic violence in the previous year. The display is said to be viewed in at least 46 states on an annual basis.
In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. In 1989 the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.