CDHS recognizes Domestic Violence Month this October

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Each year, in October, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) joins advocates, survivors and supporters in recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control over a partner in an intimate relationship. Multiple forms of abuse are usually present at the same time in these relationships. Learn more about identifying types of abuse.

More prevalent than most realize, domestic violence will affect one in four women and one in seven men in their lifetimes. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation or socio-economic status, can experience domestic violence. Domestic violence is more than physical violence and, indeed, everyone knows someone who has experienced violence in their relationship.  

Pregnant and parenting women who have a substance use disorder are at higher risk for experiencing relationship violence, as abusive partners may try to take advantage of someone who is under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and/or may coerce a person to become intoxicated. This month, as we bring awareness to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we will also seek to acknowledge the connections between substance use and domestic violence and provide tools and education.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233. They can connect you to a local free and confidential service provider right here in Colorado. Support is available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. Anti-domestic violence organizations are able to safely serve survivors and their families during the pandemic. Survivors of domestic violence who cannot make a phone call, can: 

  • Text loveis (capitalization does not matter) to 22522
  • Visit to chat with an advocate online

During an emergency situation, call 911. 

Anyone concerned about the safety of a friend, family member or neighbor, should offer support privately and let them know that community-based organizations are available. If you need advice on how to help a loved one, call the hotline for yourself for suggestions on how to help.

Here are five ways to help recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month

  1. Share important information in your newsletter or social media. Share or adapt information from this toolkit
  2. Encourage Coloradans to learn to recognize the signs of domestic violence.
  3. Share information about how to help someone in an abusive relationship.
  4. Share information about organizations that serve survivors online.
  5. Promote resources on your social media. Refer to the social media content in the DVAM 2021 Coalition Toolkit to educate your constituents and encourage them to seek safety.