Annually, October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, or DVAM. This is a time when the community comes together to take a stand against abuse, and to provide resources, security, and safety for survivors of violence. It’s also an opportunity to engage with those that cause violence, with the hope that we can put an end to the suffering being perpetrated against our loved ones.
On Thursday October 12th, the 23rd annual Men’s March Against Violence brought together folks from all walks of life with that goal in mind: raise awareness and speak up about violence in our communities.
This year’s MMAV brought out nearly 1,000 individuals from the community, including high school and university students and teachers, athletes, business and civic leaders, politicians, police, union members, and many others.
The masses met at the state capitol, where a remembrance ceremony highlighted those whose lives were lost to DV in the past year. As a community, it’s crucial we remember these individuals, and all others that suffer from violence, so that their lives can inspire others to strive for peace, respect, and non-violence.
The march was followed by a short rally, where leaders from the community spoke out and committed to ending abuse and violence in all forms. These were men that have committed their lives to supporting survivors, and holding accountable those that cause abuse.
The end of the rally featured a lei ceremony, where 9 young men from Damien high school were presented with leis. This gesture symbolized their continued commitment to being responsible, non-violent men, and for promoting safety to those in their lives. What a powerful display of youth activism!
All in all, the day was a powerful reminder to our community, our state, and our world, that domestic violence in all its forms will not be tolerated. It was a display of strength towards another world, one in which men join women in calling for change, and taking steps towards ending abuse. This is an enormous task, and the road ahead is long and unknown… but change begins with just one step.
What changes will you inspire this October?