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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 10, 2019
Breakfast: 8-9 a.m. | Lunch: Noon-1 p.m.
Schuster Center Wintergarden (1 W. Second St., Dayton, OH 45402)

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 has been refreshed (and expanded!) as the Voices Against Violence Breakfast and the Voices Against Violence Lunch to better reflect the platform it provides for both survivors and supporters to be a voice for change.

This event also features the recognition of our annual Marsha Froelich Survivor Award, which honors women who embody Froelich’s spirit of survivorship and resilience and give graciously to others. The late Marsha Froelich, a former development director at YWCA Dayton, was a fearless leader who advocated — at work and in her spare time — for the under-served, the women of the YW, and those within the community who did not have a voice. This award recognizes a woman whose words and actions serve to exemplify, inspire, set an example, and celebrate the spirit of a survivor who has overcome the odds and continued on an amazing journey, personally or professionally.


Interested in serving as a table captain? Contact events@ywcadayton.org.

Saturday, October 12, 2019
6-9 p.m.
RiverScape MetroPark (237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, OH 45402)

Artemis Center and YWCA Dayton will, for the fourth year, host a collaborative friend and fundraiser to promote awareness of domestic violence and raise funds to support domestic violence victims. It is held in conjunction with the University of Dayton School of Law Human Rights Awareness and Advocacy Committee and the University of Dayton Women’s Center.

Activities include a community vigil to honor those lost to domestic violence and celebrate survivors, followed by an evening 5K run/walk/stroll (participants are encouraged to wear purple and bring accessories that glow or light up). Various activity vendors and informational tables will also be on hand, and we’ll have multiple raffle baskets to bid on! All proceeds support Artemis Center and YWCA Dayton’s programs and services that support domestic violence victims.

The 5K, chip timed by Key Sports, features an easy out-and-back course perfect for experienced runners, hobby joggers, students, walkers and families alike. No animals allowed; strollers are welcome. Purple and glow gear encouraged.


For the fourth year in a row, YWCA Dayton will participate in a crowdfunding competition. This year, instead of being sponsored by the Allstate Foundation (which has shifted its focus from fundraising to prevention education efforts), we’re bringing the challenge to the Gem City with a competition all our own. During the month of October, we’ll again see how much funds 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 also highlights 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, we will again be passing a limited-edition, celebrity-designed handbag to help market the challenge.

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.


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)