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October | Domestic Violence Awareness Month

First observed in October 1981 as a national “Day of Unity,” Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) is held each October as a way to unite advocates across the nation in their efforts to end domestic violence.

Communities and advocacy organizations across the country connect with the public and one another throughout the month to raise awareness about the signs of abuse and ways to stop it and to uplift survivor stories and provide additional resources to leaders and policymakers.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse. It is a pervasive, life-threatening crime that affects thousands of individuals in Connecticut regardless of age, gender, economic status, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or education. Victims are left feeling scared, confused, dependent, and insecure about their ability to survive on their own, financially or otherwise. The children of an abused parent must contend with these same fears and realities.

Warning Signs

Do you think that you might be in an abusive relationship, or are you concerned for someone you know? Take a moment to review our checklist. Domestic violence isn’t just about being physically hit, it’s also about patterns of coercion and control that may be emotional or financial.

Does your partner…

  • Stalk or harass you, such as follow you or show up at your home or place of employment uninvited?

  • Get suddenly angry, refuse to compromise, and constantly blame you for his/her mistakes?

  • Act overly jealous about your relationships with others and prevent you from seeing family and friends?

  • Control your means of communication, such as your phone and computer?

  • Humiliate or embarrass you in front of your friends and family?

  • Hit, push, slap, or act in an otherwise violent manner towards you?

  • Threaten to hurt you, your children, your family members, or your pets?

  • Force you to have sex or perform other sexual acts when you do not want to?

Risk Factors

Dr. Jacquelyn C. Campbell, who is a professor with the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, has done extensive research on the factors present in an abusive relationship that often lead to greater risk for increased violence that could turn fatal. Take a moment to review our checklist below and determine whether or not these risk factors are present in your relationship.

  •  Has your abuser ever used a weapon against you or threatened you with a weapon?

  • Has your abuser ever threatened to kill you or your children?

  • Do you think your abuser might try to kill you?

  • Has the physical violence increased in frequency or severity in the past 6 months?

  • Does your abuser have a gun or can s/he easily get one?

  • Has your abuser ever tried to choke you?

  • Have you recently left, separated from, or divorced your abuser?

Things You Can Do

If you answered yes to any of the questions above then you may be in an abusive relationship and risk factors may be present that indicate a possible increase in violence. There are steps that you can take to increase your safety:

  • Call 911 if you’re in immediate danger.

  • Always trust your gut – if you think you’re in danger, you probably are.

  • Don’t minimize your abuser’s behavior or the level of danger present.

  • Connect with a certified domestic violence advocate at Safe Connect by visiting or texting/calling (888) 774-2900.

  • Work with your local domestic violence agency to develop a safety plan.

  • Speak with a Family Violence Victim Advocate at your local domestic violence agency about the legal options that are available, such as restraining orders.


If you need help or just someone to talk to, please visit or call or text (888) 774-2900. Advocates available 24/7.

Si necesitas información o si solo quieres conversar con alguien, por favor visite o llamada or texto (888) 774-2900. Los consejeros estará disponible las 24 horas del día, los siete días de la semana.

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