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The Evolution of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Associated Laws

Posted on in Domestic Violence

St. Charles family law attorneyDomestic violence is a problem that continues to affect countless families throughout Illinois and across the country. At our law firm, we are proud to help those whose lives have been impacted by such abuse and stand united with those who are working to reduce and eliminate domestic violence from our communities. It is with this in mind that we remind our friends and neighbors that while October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we can all do our part every day to provide care and support for abuse victims.

How It All Started

The history of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) traces back to October of 1981 when the length of observance was not for the whole month, but only for a day. DVAM evolved from the “Day of Unity” that was founded by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

On this day, those who took part had the intentions of working together to end violence against women and their children. Soon after, more and more people became aware of the Day of Unity and it quickly evolved into an entire week filled with events mourning the loss of those who have died from domestic violence, celebrating survivors, and bringing together communities to help end domestic violence.

People Making a Difference

The year 1986 changed how the state of Illinois treats domestic violence crimes with the development and passage of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. This measure covers violence that can occur in many types of relationships such as spouse/former spouse, individuals in or previously in a dating situation and parent and child. In Illinois, the person who committed the act can be prosecuted on a criminal charge of domestic violence, focusing on physical harm. There are also civil domestic violence laws that cover emotional and sexual harm as well. Illinois laws are always changing, so it is important to stay up to date and contact an Illinois domestic violence attorney regarding acts that may be considered domestic violence.

A year later, in October of 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. As time went on, new laws were created to meet new challenges associated with domestic violence situations and in 1989, federal lawmakers passed Public Law 101-112 declaring that October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  

How We Observe DVAM Today

While the Day of Unity has grown to a full month of observation, it continues to be celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Today, DVAM brings people together through charity events, fundraisers, walks to raise awareness, wearing purple, hotline services, and a variety of other ways that have developed over the years.

If you and/or your children are in a violent situation at home, contact an experienced St. Charles domestic violence lawyer. Call Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 to schedule a free consultation. Our firm works with clients throughout Northern Illinois including Kane County and the surrounding areas to help put the legal protection you need in place temporarily and to come up with a strategy for a more permanent solution.



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