History of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 and 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 level. 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

  • Connecting those who work to end violence

These three themes remain a key focus of DVAM events today. 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 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence providing key leadership in this effort. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

                       — Adapted from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resource Manual of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Locally Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity for WomanHaven, A Center for Family Solutions to bring awareness to the community about the damage that is caused by Domestic Violence. Through a series of events geared towards community involvement and participation, WomanHaven hopes to eliminate Domestic Violence in Imperial County.


WomanHaven's DVAM Events:

Tuesday September 24th, 2019 10:00 AM
Imperial County Board of Supervisors Proclamation of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Imperial County Board Chambers, 940 W Main Street, El Centro CA


October 2nd to October 5th 2019 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM Daily
Chili’s Restaurant Amber Bryant Memorial Fundraiser
A portion of sales will be donated to WomanHaven.
Imperial Valley Mall Location Only
more information

Wednesday October 2rd, 2019  5:00 PM
16th Annual March Against Domestic Violence
Town Square Park, 7th & Main St., El Centro CA
March to El Centro Courthouse
more information

Friday October 11th 2019
5th Annual Mariposa Award Fundraiser Gala
IVExpo, Plaza de las Culturas Building, Imperial CA
more information


Thursday October 24th 2019
Purple Thursday 2019. 
Raise Awareness.  Wear purple on this day