A- A A+

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since. The month aims to: mourn those who have died from domestic violence; celebrate those who have survived; and connect those who work to end domestic violence.

It evolved from the “Day of Unity” conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence held in October 1981. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national level. In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of DVAM.

YWCA Dayton operates the only domestic violence shelters in Montgomery and Preble counties. Our Battered Woman Project (what is now our DV shelter in Dayton) opened in 1977, as did our 24/7 crisis and domestic violence hotline, which still serve both counties today. We took ownership of the Preble County shelter in 2004. We provide shelter and support every day to more than 100 women and children seeking lives free from violence. In addition to a full slate of clinical and supportive shelter services, YW has advocated for the health and safety of women since its founding in 1870, with our first foray into ending gender-based violence happening in 1886, when we petitioned the Ohio General Assembly asking for “better legal protection for women against assault.”


DVAM Events & Activities

Thursday, October 8, 2020
7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Virtually via Zoom

Each October, YWCA Dayton recognizes the strength and resilience of domestic violence survivors at a special fundraising event to support YWCA Dayton’s domestic violence shelter and support services, including its 24-hour crisis hotline. Formerly called the YWomen Breakfast, it was refreshed (and expanded!) in 2019 as Voices Against Violence to better reflect the platform it provides for both survivors and supporters to be a voice for change.

This year, in keeping with COVID-19 safety guidelines, the event will pivot to a virtual platform and format, featuring multiple online panel discussions and keynote speakers throughout the day. Voices Against Violence: At The Intersections will highlight and uplift voices that work in and alongside YW to prevent and respond to violence against women – including perspectives on race, class, rural communities, faith communities, and more.

Presented by:


Saturday, October 31, 2020
1-2 p.m.
Virtually via Zoom

Join YWCA Dayton’s Preble County Office during Domestic Violence Awareness Month for this (virtual!) afternoon of family-friendly fun with fur-riends. Show off your pet for this fifth annual signature fundraiser benefiting Preble County’s only domestic violence shelter and 24/7 crisis hotline.

This year, we’re moving the popular Pet Showcase to an online, interactive format! Vote all month long and then get ready to celebrate via Zoom on Oct. 31. Awards will be presented for: Best Pose, Most Creative, Most “Not Dog,” “Twinning” (pet and owner lookalikes), and Best In Show.

The live Zoom event will also feature surprise guests, pet performances, virtual activities, family crafts you can download from home, and more. Hosted by comedian and Dayton native Beth Stelling, our 2019 Marsha Froelich Survivor Award recipient and creator of #ifanimalshadgoogle.

Online photo contest: $10 per pet to enter; $1 = 1 vote. Voting will be open from Oct. 1-28! Live Zoom event registration is free. Follow the conversation online using #PurplePaws.

Presented by:

Enter Photo Contest | Register for Live Event

Oct. 1-31, 2020
Follow along on social media using #PassThePurseDYT

For the fifth year in a row, YWCA Dayton will again see how much funds, volunteerism, YWish List items, and awareness our Dayton community can raise to support the only domestic violence shelters and longest-serving crisis hotline in Montgomery and Preble counties.

Pass the Purse Dayton began as a campaign highlighting financial abuse as the number one reason women aren’t able to leave abusive relationships. Since the greatest symbol of a woman’s economic security is her purse, 31+ members of the Miami Valley community helped us pass a limited-edition, celebrity-designed handbag to keep the conversation going. For 2020, we’ll be putting a new twist on #PassThePurseDYT, and spotlighting an oft-overlooked fact: that survivors who flee and arrive at our shelter often do so with only one bag. Follow our social media accounts starting Oct. 1 and help us amplify survivors’ voices.

YWCA Dayton is the oldest provider of services and support to victims of domestic violence in Montgomery and Preble counties, providing the only domestic violence shelters for those fleeing abuse, as well as the oldest 24/7 crisis and domestic violence hotline in Montgomery County and the only such hotline in Preble County. Purple Purse contributions help make an immediate difference for women and children seeking safety by ensuring the continuation of shelter services and professional crisis intervention and support.

Get the Details

Oct. 1-31, 2020

All month long, join us in painting the town purple to honor those we’ve lost and celebrate those who have survived domestic violence. Whether you’re swapping your porch light for a purple bulb, donning your most purple shirt for Paint Preble Purple, or helping us decorate downtown thoroughfares in Montgomery and Preble counties, it all helps to raise awareness and show survivors they are not alone. Each of our voices is powerful; together, our message is life-changing for the women and families we serve 24/7/365.

Volunteer Now | View Paint Preble Purple Photos

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Workshop
Oct. 10, 2020
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Virtually via Zoom

Join us on Saturday, Oct. 10, for a special edition of our regular Girls Squad virtual meetup. Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence (Source: LoveIsRespect). In honor of both International Day of the Girl and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’ll be hosting a workshop on teen dating violence, led by YW’s sexual assault program educator, Megan Garrison. Free and open to all girls ages 11-14 in Montgomery and Preble counties; parents welcome and encouraged to attend with their child.


Cyberbullying & Bullying Awareness Workshop
Oct. 24, 2020
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Virtually via Zoom

Join us on Saturday, Oct. 24, for a special edition of our regular Girls Squad virtual meetup. 73% of students today feel they have been bullied in their lifetime, and nearly half (44%) say it has happened in the last 30 days. At the same time, nearly all teens are connected to the Internet at some point in their day, and 85% are on social media. In honor of YWCA USA’s Week Without Violence and Bullying Prevention Month, we’ll be hosting a workshop on cyberbullying and bullying awareness. Free and open to all girls ages 11-14 in Montgomery and Preble counties; parents welcome and encouraged to attend with their child.


Need help? It starts with a call.

If you are in immediate need of assistance, call 911.

24/7 Crisis & Domestic Violence Hotline: 937-222-SAFE (7233)