Even before the first Take Back the Night gatherings, women and men have marched, rallied, and protested to increase women's safety in and out their homes, during the day and at night. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a perfect time take back the night.
Here's how you can help make the world safer for your mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins, aunts, friends, neighbors and fellow human beings:
--> If you are a survivor of sexual assault and need help, call the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673). You can call from anywhere in the US, and free and confidential counseling is available 24 hours a day.
--> If something about your relationship with your partner scares you and you need to talk, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). Fax: 512-453-8541 Address: PO Box 161810, Austin, Texas 78716.
* Do the personal work of examining your own belief systems and behavior to learn how you may contribute to social and institutional practices that condone sexual violence. Consider the words you use, the music you listen to, the 'jokes' you laugh at. If you are uncomfortable with the the answers you find, GET HELP.
* Donate financially to your local women's safehouse (shelter) or men's support group. The National Domestic Violence Hotline website lists domestic violence agencies in each state, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
* Volunteer your time to an organization that seeks to end domestic violence. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 512/453-8117 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find a volunteer opportunity in your area.
* Donate supplies to your local safehouse. These homes away from home are always in need of things like towels, toiletries, sheets, kitchen supplies and the like. Children's necessities for home and school are also needed.
* Donate a phone. "Through the collection of deactivated cell and wireless phones, an important tool has been provided for victims of domestic violence who may encounter emergency situations. The lifeline provided by donated phones has literally saved lives." Donations are tax deductible. Send your phone, charger and battery to
P.O. Box 18749
Denver, CO 80218
For more ideas, check out NCADV. You CAN make a difference. Please, act now.
"The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it." -Madame De Stael, writer (1766-1817)