By: Meghan Mausteller
Many of us know the statistics. Approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States will be a victim of intimate partner violence at some point in their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
For many of us, this means that a friend, relative or even ourselves have or will experience domestic violence.
With rates at such staggeringly high numbers, we often feel useless, as if there is nothing we can do to stop or prevent the violence that is happening around us.
You might not know it, but there are plenty of ways to stop domestic violence from the comfort of your own home or even in your local community. If you want to help stop domestic violence, but don’t know where to start, try these 26 ways to get involved in stopping domestic violence. Even the smallest effort can make a big difference.
- You can make a one-time donation to Break the Silence or become a monthly donation warrior here.
- You can also donate to your local shelter or advocacy center.
- Shop with AmazonSmile and list a domestic violence awareness organization, like Break the Silence, as your organization
- AmazonSmile donates a portion of your order to the charity of your choice. As of May 2017, they have donated over 54 million dollars to non-profit organizations around the world.
- Support legislation that will work toward eliminating domestic violence or support domestic violence survivors
- This could include legislation on gun control, funding for victim assistance services, or protection for people evicted from their homes due to domestic violence or stalking-related incidents.
- Call your representatives
- Make sure your local and state representatives know where you stand on legislature and encourage them to support your cause.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper
- This can be especially effective during October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month or April, which is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
- Attend domestic violence advocacy training at your local domestic violence shelter
- Follow local or national domestic violence awareness organizations on social media
- Share information about domestic violence on social media
- Participate in domestic violence awareness campaigns
- Learn the facts and myths about domestic violence and share your knowledge with friends and family
- Teach your children about healthy relationships and warning signs of abuse
- Share your story
- If you are a survivor of domestic violence, consider sharing your story. This could help other victims feel less alone and empower them to seek help or leave their abusers.
- Attend or host a domestic violence awareness candlelight vigil in your local community
- Make sure your local doctor’s offices have posters and pamphlets about where victims of domestic violence can go for help
- Host a drive for your local domestic violence shelter
- Shelters often need items, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, tampons, pads, shampoo and conditioner. Often times, they can also use food and canned goods, clothing, sheets and furniture. Get in contact with your local shelter to find out how you can help.
- Host a drive for cell phones
- Domestic violence shelters sometimes provide their residents with old cell phones to use while at the shelter. This can allow them to keep in contact with their family, but be unreachable to their abuser.
- Attend events hosted by your local domestic violence awareness organization
- Participate in fundraisers that support domestic violence awareness organizations
- Convince your employer to donate to a domestic violence shelter
- Learn about your company’s policy on matching your donations
- Adopt a family for the holidays
- Many domestic violence shelters allow you to adopt a family affected by domestic violence and purchase gifts for the family over the holidays. Break the Silence has an annual Holidays of Hope program, where you can do just that.
- Join the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s online book club, Reader With a Cause
- This online book club, available through Goodreads, allows you to “read and discuss equality, empowerment, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking as it appears in contemporary books,” like the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.
- Speak up if you see domestic violence happening
- Become a support person for someone in an abusive relationship
- Listen to, trust and believe survivors