Hands with purple ribbon

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity to highlight this important issue and show survivors that they are not alone. Whether you post social media graphics sharing the hotline number, or wear purple on October 20 for Wear Purple Day, this page is designed to share ways you can be an ally this October, and all year long. 

This Month's Highlights

Here are the highlights for this month's activities: 

  • Every Tuesday in October: Domestic Violence 101. Register today!
  • October 20 at 1:30PM: Instagram Live featuring OPDV Executive Director Kelli Owens and The Mayor's Office to End Gender-Based Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel about how to Start the Conversation
  • October 20 at 2PM: Live Twitter chat for anyone who wants to talk about Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Start the Conversation
  • All October: A social media campaign to help people #StartTheConversation with the survivors in their life

Buy an "End Domestic Violence" License Plate

Beginning on October 5th, you can show survivors you’re an ally by having the message on your car all year long. Created in partnership with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles in honor of the State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence’s 30th anniversary, the new design reflects the strength and resilience of survivors and the commitment New York State makes to support them. Revenue from the plates will support NYS efforts to end gender-based violence through programming and public awareness.


License plates can be purchased at your local DMV office, on the web, by mail or through the DMV Custom Plates Unit. You can call the unit at (518) 402-4838, Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or visit online at: http://dmv.ny.gov/cplates.htm.

DVAM 2022: Start the Conversation

OPDV’s 2022 campaign is called Start the Conversation, and it’s aimed at helping New Yorkers raise this critical issue with people in their lives and communities and letting them know what resources are available. It can be hard having tough conversations with those you care about, but when you have the right tools you can make a difference. Visit OPDV’s online Start the Conversation Toolkit and learn more!

Go Purple

Across the country people will “Go Purple” on October 20 to spread awareness! Wear purple, hang purple lights, and make sure to tell others why purple is so important on this day! All month long keep an eye on the night sky as NYS landmarks are illuminated in purple.

Share Posters and Flyers

Share these posters and flyers in public spaces so people know how to Start the Conversation and victims and survivors know help is available. 

Start the Conversation: Be a Better Ally Poster


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month Downloadable Flyer




Visual of the  downloadable Quarantine Flyer


Also available in: Español한국어 번역русский язык中文翻譯বাংলা অনুবাদ, and Kreyòl Ayisyen


Post on Social Media

Follow @NYSOPDV on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and engage with posts by sharing, liking, and commenting using the hashtags #StartTheConversation and #DVAM2022. You can also post the social media graphics below, and show the people who follow you that you're an ally to survivors. When posting, always include information for the NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline which can be reached 24/7 in most languages: Call 800-942-6906, Text 844-997-2121 or chat at opdv.ny.gov. 

DVAM Social Media 2022-1

Download available for FB, Instagram, and Twitter  


DVAM Social Media 2022-2

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DVAM Social Media 2022-6

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DVAM Social Media 2022-3

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DVAM Social Media 2022-7

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Know the Resources

Did you know that every county in New York State has a domestic violence program? Did you know that there are tons of resources available for victims and survivors from Orders of Protection and Address Confidentiality Programs to financial assistance and legal advocacy? Talk to an advocate today to learn more about what's available, and make sure to share this information with the survivor in your life. 

Be an Ally All Year Long

Many people who have experienced domestic or sexual violence either don’t know who to turn to or have had bad experiences when they’ve reached out for help. Your willingness to help can be important to a victim in their safety planning efforts. But while being willing and well-meaning is good, being ready to offer the kind of help that’s needed, while keeping yourself safe, is even better.

  • Initiate a conversation in private and when you have enough time to talk at length, but only if they want to.
  • Let go of any expectations you have that there is a “quick fix.” Not doing anything may very well be the safest thing they can do at any given time.
  • Challenge false attitudes and beliefs that you may have about domestic or sexual violence. 
  • Believe victims and let them know that you do. If you know the person who has or is abusing them, it may be hard to believe that they are capable of abuse, but remember that abusers typically act differently in public than they do in private.
  • Listen to what they tell you. Avoid making judgments and giving advice. They will let you know what they need.
  • Refer them to a service provider who can provide necessary medical attention, counseling or emotional support, safety planning, housing and discuss their options.
  • Build on their strengths. Point out the ways in which they have developed ways to cope, solved problems, and showed courage and determination. 
  • Validate feelings. It is common for victims to have conflicting feelings – love and fear, guilt and anger, hope and sadness. Let them know that these feelings are normal.
  • Avoid victim-blaming. Tell the victim that the abuse is not their fault.
  • Take it seriously. If you are concerned about their safety, tell them you are concerned without judgment by simply saying, “Your situation sounds dangerous and I’m concerned about your safety.”
  • Offer help. Offer specific forms of help and information, such as providing child care, driving them to appointments or assisting with pets.
  • Give them control. Abuse and assault take control away from victims. Support their decisions about who to tell, what steps to take, and what types of support they need. Additionally, asking before offering any physical support such as hugs and being upfront about what support you can and cannot provide allows them to take control of their safety and next steps. 
  • Support and respect their decisions. Remember that there are risks with every decision a victim makes and there is no one way an individual must react to abuse or assault. If you really want to be helpful, be patient and respect their decisions, even if you don’t agree with them.