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Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2023


Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2023
Prevent It to End It: A California Free from Domestic Violence

Golden pathway stretches across the image. On top left, path is dark and has a few figures holding candles and lighting others' candles. On bottom right the pathway is bright and filled with figures interacting and holding candles.

Imagine relaxing at your favorite place. Do you feel calm, at ease, and peaceful? Can you feel your breath slowing down and muscles relaxing? 

We invite you to envision a world where relationships feel this way. A world where thinking of someone brings that same sense of joy, contentment, and serenity and people are valued, respected, and love one another. 

This October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we want you to create this world with us. This year’s theme emphasizes the importance of taking steps to prevent domestic violence before it happens. 

Domestic violence organizations across California work every day to end cycles of violence and stop the cycles from starting in the first place. Prevention is essential. 

Our campaign has one goal: Share what we can all do to prevent domestic violence.

What is Domestic Violence?

  • Domestic violence is when someone uses coercion and violence to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It is a pattern of behavior with a range of escalating abusive tactics: psychological, emotional, sexual, financial, legal, spiritual, and physical, as well as stalking and threatening.  
  • Domestic violence is a reflection of oppression in our society. Inequities such as rigid gender roles, colonization and racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, ableism, and economic inequities create learned behaviors that allow a partner to exercise power and control over a survivor through coercion and violence. 
    • In LGBTQIA+ relationships, this can look like threatening to out one’s partner if they seek help. 
    • People who harm can steal money from their partner, or coerce them into debt without their consent—preventing them from meeting their basic needs. 
  • Domestic violence organizations across California support people who feel unsafe in their relationships to develop a safety plan and access the services and legal protections they need, including housing, counseling, and support navigating through the civil and/or criminal systems. 


What can we do to prevent domestic violence?

We can prevent domestic violence with healthy relationship education and organizing toward inclusive communities. For healthy relationships to occur, people must be able to meet their basic needs for safety. We lower the risk of domestic violence when we build stronger community supports for our safety net: policies that promote economic stability, stable housing, and equity.

  • Sexual and domestic violence prevention needs to be included in the California Budget to create safer, healthier communities. The California Legislature has previously funded this work, and reports show that prevention works. We need your support before this funding runs out completely. Join our Prevention Budget Interest List to get the latest updates, information, and action items on how you can join the campaign to fund prevention programs.  

  • Economic stability, housing security, and supportive youth programs are needed to prevent abusive relationships. We’ve created a few social media templates so you can raise consciousness with your friends and followers.  
  • The way we talk about domestic violence influences the way we think about it. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an ideal time to change the conversation. Read this messaging guide to learn about ways to talk about domestic violence, and then send it to your legislator’s office (ideally someone on their communications team). 
  • Local leaders need to publicly share that domestic violence is unacceptable. Provide local leaders a way to speak out against domestic violence by working with them to pass a DVAM resolution in your community. It’s a chance for them to teach the larger community about the prevalence of domestic violence and give them an opportunity to publicly stand against it. We’ve written out a sample proclamation that contains instructions.  
  • Donate to domestic violence programs. Give for DV Day is on October 26th, and you can create a page to encourage your friends and family to donate to your favorite domestic violence organization.  



The Partnership is grateful to Tina Rios and Angela Kim for inspiring the vision behind our DVAM artwork, created by Tiffany Dator. We asked Tina and Angela why they are so committed to domestic violence prevention. Read their stories: 



“I am moved to tears by this piece of art that envisions the beautiful pathway we are embarking on. Our prayers are being answered. 

I made a promise to my son to never stop fighting. That promise transformed me into a leader and today I keep this promise not only to him but to creator, as I continue seeking the safety for all children. Including those of our ancestors and those children yet born. We are truly meant to live in peace and harmony on earth. 

 My commitment to this work began with a promise I made to my son. He was 6 when he said ‘Mommy, fight for me like a wild animal!’ He is 12 now. I continue my fight, not only for him, but for all children. This is my promise to creator. Every day, I pray to my ancestors to guide me and to God to use me so that I can lead others on a path of healing toward safety for all of us, especially children who have only wishes, dreams, and prayers. We must be their voice. Aho.” 



“The artwork beautifully captures the sense of community and intergenerational healing that is so vital to the work of violence prevention. 

Every day, I am inspired by the knowledge that violence and harm are preventable and I never want another youth to experience violence. To invest in our youth is to believe in futures.” 

Read Tina’s and Angela’s Bios

Tina Rios is an Indigenous woman of Apache Ancestry. She is a longtime resident of Pasadena and Altadena. She is a respected leader in her community and volunteers her time with many Pasadena non-profits and community organizations. She was recently appointed to the LA County Mandated Reporting to Mandated Supporting and California’s Mandated Reporting to Community Supporting Task Force as a person with lived experience representing tribal communities. She is a champion for child safety and a dedicated member of the Reimagine Child Safety Coalition and co-founder of the Reimagining Child Safety Group. It is because of her relentless advocacy work that she was awarded the 2021 Betty Fisher award. A top honor given to her by LA County Department of Public Health and the Domestic Violence Council. She is spiritual and loves to share her passion as a Native American living in Los Angeles. 
Angela Kim is a proud disabled Korean American woman, daughter of immigrants, and a survivor of teenage dating violence. Angela has devoted her life to gender-based violence prevention and currently works as a Program Manager for the Los Angeles County Department of Youth Development, where she supports the development of programs and policies that utilize a care-first approach to equitably reduce youth justice system involvement in Los Angeles. Angela has engaged in violence prevention work across California through Title IX offices, CARE offices, Domestic Violence Shelters, and community resource centers. Additionally, she works as a Consultant for the Gun Violence Restraining Order Fatality Project through the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and serves as an Empathy Mirror Storyteller for the Futures Without Violence Courage Museum. Angela is finishing up her Masters in Public Health at UCLA in Community Health Sciences, with a specific academic focus on violence as a public health issue.  

Additional Resources: