Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).  The awareness month evolved from the “Day of Unity,” which was created by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in October 1981. This special day became a week-long event, and in October 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed.

This year, October 2019 is the 32nd anniversary of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). The objective of the awareness month is to increase awareness about domestic violence and its impact on individuals, families, and communities. The month can serve as a time when we mindfully and intentionally increase our own knowledge of what domestic violence is and can provide the time and space when we can openly talk with our families, friends, and communities about domestic violence and how we can support each other.

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and/or financial abuse. Controlling, coercive behavior may manifest itself in a variety of ways including but not limited to: dictating how the survivor dresses, where they go, who they can talk to, or what they do; looking at or acting in ways that scare the person they are abusing; stalking the survivor or monitoring their every move (in person or via the internet or other devices); telling the survivor they can never do anything right; taking the survivor’s money or refusing to give them money for expenses.

Domestic violence is a problem that affects millions of people, of all ages, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, religion, or nationality, in all types of relationships. Kansas is not immune to it. In 2017, one domestic violence incident occurred every 23 minutes and 9 seconds in Kansas. In 2017, there were 22,708 incidents of domestic violence reported to law enforcement agencies across Kansas. In 2017, programs served nearly 60,000 individuals across Kansas. In 2018, these programs served more than 77,000 people.

Advocacy Services and Resources

Kansas has 26 sexual and domestic violence advocacy programs serving all 105 counties. 23 of these programs provide domestic violence services to victims and survivors and their families. Services include 24-hour crisis hotlines and safe shelter, crisis intervention and support, personal advocacy, medical advocacy, court advocacy, law enforcement advocacy, emergency accommodations, supportive counseling, support groups, and child and youth advocacy.  All of these services are voluntary, confidential, and available at no cost to the victim.

To get help and access these services, call the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287.

Find a map and listings of Kansas sexual and domestic violence victim advocacy programs at

This project was supported by Grant No. 2017-MU-AX-0006 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV)’s mission is to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence. Find more information on KCSDV’s website at

The 24-hour Kansas Crisis Hotline is 888-END-ABUSE (888-363-2287).


Last Updated on Oct 29, 2019