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How to help survivors of domestic violence

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Hannah Stewart, staff writer

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As Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) ends in October, the fight to end domestic violence continues.

DVAM works to raise awareness of the epidemic of domestic violence and to create opportunities for victims to seek help. The fight to end domestic violence does not stop after a single month.  This fight needs supporters all year round.

Survivors and supporters see the fight to end domestic violence as a nationwide goal, “My sister was recently involved in a domestic violence situation and it almost ruined her. Now I am using my voice every chance I can to advocate for victims of domestic violence and their families,” Jasmine Carter, sophomore communication studies major, said.

Becoming involved often proves the most difficult aspect of being a part of a movement; here are some ways to become involved in ending domestic violence.

-Educate Yourself: The lack of knowledge about domestic violence allows many to turn a blind eye, according to NO MORE. To help create change and end domestic violence, one must first understand domestic violence and its warning signs. Information is easily accessible online with sites like The National Domestic Violence Hotline, which teaches readers warning signs of domestic abuse and ways to help victims.

-Volunteer: Volunteering is a common way of getting involved in any political action group. Domestic violence organizations need the help of passionate people who will support the fight. Columbia has several organizations for helping women in domestic abuse situations, such as:  SisterCare,  The Women’s Shelter and South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault. These organizations offer information on volunteering opportunities and needed donations for their cause.

-Take Political Action:  The people have always been the ones to inspire change in government policy. Find out who your officials are and write to them and tell them you want to see effective change in the handling of domestic violence in the judicial system.

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