Every day, three women die from domestic violence.  Their voices may be fallen but they must never be silenced.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and the Women’s Center is committed to bringing attention to this very important issue in our society.

Sexual and Domestic Violence Services (SDVS) at the Women’s Center aims to educate the community at the University of Virginia about the harsh realities of domestic violence.  Our mission is to ensure the fair treatment of survivors by providing support, advocacy, compassion and by helping women and men embrace their ability to promote change.

Many of us have a preconceived idea about domestic violence and who it affects but it truly can happen to people from all walks of life.  Sadly, most victims never expect it to happen to them which makes the need to educate the community even more crucial.

Be a part of the solution by getting involved in Domestic Violence and Prevention Month.  In addition to the activities and empowering messages found on the SDVS Facebook page, you may also choose to participate in three great on-grounds events.

On October 1, 2013, wear red in honor of those affected by domestic violence and take part in the Red Flag Campaign on the Lawn.  Pledge to commit to non-violence by leaving your handprint on our “These Hands Are Not For Hurting” banner.  We will also be collecting toiletries and other items for the Shelter for Help in Emergency.

On October 25, 2013, visit the Women’s Center to participate in the Survivor Support Network Training: Becoming an Effective Ally for Survivors of Gender Violence workshop.  This is an excellent way to develop strategies for providing support to students and co-workers whose lives have been impacted by sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking and child sexual abuse.   You will also learn about local resources and become a vital part of an on-grounds network dedicated to supporting victims at the University.

You may also use your creative talents to raise awareness.  The Women’s Center SDVS and The Avon Foundation are co-sponsoring a contest for the best educational Public Service Announcement video and social media campaign created by students at U.Va.  Prizes will be awarded and the winning PSA will be posted on the SDVS Prevention website.  The deadline for submissions is November 22, 2013 and winners will be announced in January 2014.

For information about any of the events or the contest, call 982-2774 or email Claire Kaplan.

Together, we can save lives.