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October is National Domestic Violence Action and Awareness Month


October 04, 2020
Sunday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Each year Alaska highlights the importance of being aware of, and taking action against, the high rates of domestic violence in our state during the month of October, National Domestic Violence Action and Awareness Month (DVAAM).  This year awareness, and especially action, is important as the challenge of navigating life during a pandemic exacerbates both the impact and severity of domestic violence and increases the likelihood of victims being unable to easily access services.  Governor Mike Dunleavy, whose administration is actively working to reduce and end domestic violence, recognizes the severe impact and issued a Proclamation  making October DVAAM in Alaska.  
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“All Alaskans deserve to be safe in their homes and communities. The current COVID-19 pandemic health crisis has led to further isolation and increased risks of harm for victims in all of Alaska’s communities and particularly in rural Alaska,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. 

Dunleavy said, “In October of each year, we recognize the victims and survivors of domestic violence and remind them that they are not alone. Together we will foster a safer Alaska by providing resources in times of need, promoting healthy relationships, and sending a clear message that violence will not be tolerated.”

During the month of October, the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA), within the Alaska Department of Public Safety, is sponsoring a social media campaign to increase awareness of domestic violence in Alaska, educate Alaskans about the continuum of healthy, unhealthy, violent relations, and connect Alaskans to available resources.  Resources that provide information for victims, for families and for those wishing to become engaged in the work to end violence.  

Across the state, all domestic violence emergency, shelter, and service programs have creatively managed to provide safe services in alternative ways to remained open to serve anyone in need of services.  Unfortunately, being home 24/7 with an abusive partner, without outside contact from work, school or other activities, increases isolation, fear and an inability to ask for help.  

Domestic violence is pervasive in Alaska; across the state victims - women, men and youth - are facing abuse at the hands of those closest to them.  Half of all women living in Alaska have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or both in their lifetime (AVS, 2015) and nearly 40% of men reported having been hurt by an intimate partner in their lifetime (BRFSS, 2017).  As a state, we can do better.

“Domestic Violence Action and Awareness Month is a time to remind all victims, survivors and those impacted by violence, that Alaska stands with you and continues to send the message that you are not alone,” said Commissioner Amanda Price, Department of Public Safety. “October is also a time to recognize that all Alaskans have a role to play in ending domestic violence in our homes, families, communities and the state. I am so proud of the preventive efforts that are occurring under Gov. Dunleavy and am very excited to encourage communities across the state to partner with us so we can find innovated solutions that will work for them.”

“Everyone can offer a helping hand, words of support and kindness, and a commitment to no longer tolerate abuse that we see or know about.  Together we can end domestic violence in Alaska,” said L. Diane Casto, CDVSA Executive Director. “Thank you to all the dedicated advocates, shelters, crisis lines and service programs who have been available to provide safety, kindness, and support during this especially difficult time.”

“The DPS is challenging every Alaskan to take an action in support of DV survivors this month,” said Commissioner Price. “It can be something as simple as sharing with a loved one that all shelters continue to remain open and that there are resources available to them if they should ever be in the unfortunate situation where they need a safe place to go or are in need of support services.”



On the Web:

Information and resources for victims of domestic violence in Alaska


Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Department of Public Safety

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Ketchikan, Alaska

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