October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
President Biden proclaimed that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In his proclamation, President Biden states “While significant progress has been made in reducing domestic violence and improving services and support for survivors, much work remains to be done to expand prevention efforts and provide greater access to safety and healing.”
To enhance your efforts in raising awareness of domestic violence, visit the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Project website for customizable materials, training resources, and other tools.
Discover OVC-sponsored resources to help victims of domestic violence and the service providers and allied professionals who assist them.
Webinar: Understanding the Effects of the Pandemic for Domestic Violence Victims
OVC and the Office on Violence Against Women hosted a webinar on Friday, October 29, 2021, on how COVID-19 has impacted the occurrence of domestic violence across the country. Watch the webinar recording.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline advocates are available 24/7 for victims experiencing intimate partner violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. Support is also available to family members and friends concerned about a loved one. Contact the hotline 24/7 toll free at 800–799–7233, text “START” to 88788, or use their online chat. The hotline is funded in part by OVC.
Emergency Transitional Pet Shelter Housing and Assistance Grant Program
Many domestic violence shelters are not equipped to accommodate pets. This issue can potentially lead to victims delaying critical safety services because of concerns for their pet's welfare. To help address this gap, OVC made 6 awards of more than $2.2 million to support shelter and transitional housing services to victims of domestic violence and their companion animals in FY 2020. OVC has also begun making FY 2021 awards under this program.
Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium
Domestic and sexual violence not only causes emotional and physical harm to victims, but it is also a major cause of homelessness. The Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium supports direct service providers that assist survivors experiencing homelessness. Submit a technical assistance request to the Consortium for assistance to address the intersection of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness in your community.
DocuSAFE: Documentation and Evidence Collection App
Download the free DocuSAFE: Documentation and Evidence Collection app. This app helps survivors collect, store, and share evidence of abuse, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, online harassment, and dating violence. If survivors choose, the app provides options for sharing the content with law enforcement, attorneys, victim advocates, and other professionals. The Safety Net Team at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, in partnership with 3Advance, created this app with OVC funding support.
Safe Shelter Collaborative
Learn about OVC-funded Safe Shelter Collaborative and the free SafeNight app that provide support to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault seeking urgent shelter. Direct service programs can connect with other local shelters to identify available beds, and private individuals can make tax-deductible donations to secure hotel rooms until shelter space is available. This app was produced by Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup.
Tech Abuse in the Pandemic & Beyond
The Tech Abuse in the Pandemic & Beyond: Reflections from the Field report shares the results of a survey on technology abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report highlights technology abuse increased during the pandemic and that survivors’ lack of access to technology was a barrier to accessing services and support. The pandemic also revealed opportunities for programs to use technology to reach victims by providing virtual services in the future.
The report was produced by the Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, through a cooperative agreement with OVC.
Technology Safety & Privacy: A Toolkit for Survivors
This toolkit provides safety tips, helpful information, and privacy strategies for survivors on the use of technology. The toolkit offers safety resources on Internet, cell phones, social media, and other technology in both English and Spanish. Recently added to the toolkit are the following guides—
- Survivors’ Guide to Location Tracking: offers information and strategies to help you figure out if you are being tracked, and to decide what to do; and
- Survivors’ Guide to Phones: provides information on cell phone privacy and tips on what to do if your phone is being monitored or used against you.
This OVC-funded toolkit was created by the Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Additional resources and information are available on the Intimate Partner Violence section of our site.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month Observed in October
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In his proclamation, President Biden states “During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I ask everyone to ‘Do Your Part. Be Cyber Smart.’ All Americans can help increase awareness on cybersecurity best practices to reduce cyber risks.”
For information and resources to commemorate Cybersecurity Awareness Month, visit the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency website. Learn about the theme—Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.—and areas of focus throughout the month.
Explore their site even further to learn about the STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™ Campaign, a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online.
During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we also highlight the following OVC and OVC-sponsored resources.
National Elder Fraud Hotline
The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Elder Fraud Hotline, operated by OVC, provides services to adults ages 60 and older who may be victims of financial fraud. If you or someone you know is a victim of elder fraud, we encourage you to call the Hotline at 833–FRAUD–11 (833–372–8311).
Tech Safety App
The free Tech Safety App offers resources for victims of technology-facilitated stalking or abuse and walks users through how a particular technology could be misused, what they can do about it, and offers users safety tips on how to increase their safety and privacy. This OVC-funded app was created by National Network to End Domestic Violence.
ID Theft Help App
The free ID Theft Help App provides resources for identity theft victims, including direct access to victim advisors through a call center or live chat, and offers educational tools on how to protect yourself against identity theft. This app was created by Identity Theft Resource Center with funding support from OVC.
Free Training and Technical Assistance Resources Available
The OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) offers education and tools to the crime victims field at no cost.
Explore the OVC TTAC website to learn about the many ways OVC TTAC can help you build your capacity to serve victims of crime, including—
- Expert Q&A webinars covering best practices for assisting victims of crime;
- the National Victim Assistance Academy, which develops and promotes professional skills and knowledge for victim service providers;
- training through an array of standardized courses and webinars; and
- customized technical assistance delivered by experts in the victim services field.
Visit the OVC TTAC website to learn more.