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Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) was launched nationwide in October 1987 as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues and raise awareness for those issues. Over the last three decades, much progress has been made to support domestic violence victims and survivors, to hold abusers accountable, and to create and update legislation to further those goals.


30 Accomplishments from the Last 30 Years

1987 The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was held in October.

1988 Ohio Domestic Violence Network was founded. 1988 Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault was founded.

1989 The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by U.S. Congress.

1990 Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence was founded.

1990s The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) begins to recognize domestic violence as grounds for asylum in the U.S.

1992 The American Medical Association and the U.S. Surgeon General suggested that all women patients be screened for domestic abuse.

1993 Violence against women was included as a human rights violation by the United Nations at the International Conference on Human Rights in Vienna.

1993 Funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services led to the creation of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

1994 The U.S. Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as part of the federal Crime Bill. VAWA funded services for victims of domestic violence and rape, and provided training to increase police and court officials’ sensitivity to domestic violence. $1.6 billion was authorized for the years 1994 to 2000. The bill also authorizes the formation of the Violence Against Women Office in the U.S. Department of Justice and made it a federal crime to cross state lines to commit domestic violence.

1994 As a result of VAWA, funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services led to the creation of the Battered Women’s Justice Project, the Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence, and the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody.

1994 In conjunction with Ms. Magazine for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, NCADV created the Remember My Name Project, an annual recognition and memorial to those murdered as a result of domestic violence. Since the first publication, over 500 names are added to the national registry every year.

1994 Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence was founded.

1995 The first person to be prosecuted for possession of a firearms in violation of a domestic violence protection order under the Violence Against Women Act occurred in South Dakota.

1995 The first person to be convicted of a felony under the Violence Against Women Act in crossing state lines (West Virginia and Kentucky) to assault his wife occurred.

1995 With origins stemming from the Domestic Violence Coalition on Public Policy, the National Network to End Domestic Violence was initially incorporated to provide a national lobbying voice for state domestic violence coalitions.

1996 The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban was passed by Congress to extend the federal prohibition on firearms possession by criminals to include individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and child abuse crimes.

1996 The National Domestic Violence Hotline opens and is further funded under the Violence Against Women Act. The hotline responds to nearly 9,000 calls during the first month of operation.

1997 Sacred Circle, the National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women, was established to provide technical assistance, policy development, training institutes and resource information regarding domestic violence and sexual assault to develop coordinated agency response in American Indian and Alaska Native tribal communities.

1997 The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence was formed at the National Symposium on La Violencia Domestica: An Emerging Dialogue Among Latinos in Washington D.C.

1997 An anti-stalking law signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton makes interstate stalking and harassment a federal offence whether or not the victim had obtained a protection or restraining order.

1999 My Sister’s Place piloted a Latino Outreach Program in Washington, D.C., that translated educational materials, recruited bilingual volunteers, facilitated workshops and raised consciousness in the Latino community.

2000 The Violence Against Women Act of 2000 was passed and reauthorized funding for 1) training, 2) services for battered/abused women and their children, and 3) creating new programs to include stalking and dating violence. $3.3 billion was authorized for the years 2000-2005.

2001 President George W. Bush signed into law the Stamp Out Domestic Violence Act of 2001 that called for a creation of a postal stamp that would raise funds for victim services.

2001 The Office of Women Advocates, Puerto Rico, was founded.

2002 WomenSpirit Coalition/Washington State Native American Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault was founded. 2005 The U.S. Congress updated the Violence Against Women Act to include teen dating violence and more prevention funding.

2008 NCADV released the eighth edition of the National Directory of Domestic Violence Programs, which listed over 2,000 agencies. This comprehensive listing of programs remains the most used publication in the domestic violence field.

2009 Lynn Rosenthal was appointed as the first White House Advisor on Violence Against Women.

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