TOPEKA — Each year, in October, advocates, survivors and supporters recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
This October, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence is partnering with the National Network to End Domestic Violence and other state and territorial coalitions across the nation to start a coordinated national conversation about domestic violence and how we can all contribute to changing the narrative on this overshadowed, but fundamental topic.
More prevalent than most realize, one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socio-economic status, can become a victim of domestic violence. This year’s campaign theme, #Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence.
“Recent incidents in Kansas and around the country continue to demonstrate that domestic violence is all around us, demanding our attention to support victims and survivors,” said Joyce Grover, KCSDV executive director. “Whether they know it or not – every Kansan knows someone who is or has been or will be a victim of domestic violence. It is up to each of us to believe victims and to stand up to abusers.”
In Sept. 2020 during a one-day nationwide domestic violence census count. 824 victims were served in one day in Kansas. Those numbers include 393 adult and child victims who found refuge in shelters, transitional house or other housing provided by local domestic violence programs; 431 adult and child victims who received nonresidential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy, children’s support groups and more.
Domestic violence hotlines are a lifeline for victims in danger, providing support, information, safety planning, and resources via phone, chat, text, and/or email. During the 24-hour survey period, hotline staff in Kansas received 195 contacts, averaging 8 contacts per hour.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly recognized October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month through proclamation declaring domestic violence as a widespread, preventable, public health problem impacting all demographics of Kansans and Kansas communities. The declaration is shown below.
Throughout October, KCSDV and NNEDV will be sharing content on their social media channels to help raise awareness and educate the public on the complex dynamics of domestic violence. A week of action is planned for October 18 – 24, 2021 designed to engage advocates, partners, and the public in starting a national conversation.
Free and confidential help is available 24/7 for individuals experiencing domestic violence. Those seeking help may contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at thehotline.org or 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or the Kansas Hotline 888-363-2287.