"Something that stayed with me is all the warning signs that you may notice in an unhealthy relationship or friend, or just yourself in general, and how you can get help." - Upper Valley high school student
Noticing the signs
October is Dating Violence Awareness Month, also known as DVAM. During DVAM, we like to think of the “A” in DVAM as standing for ACTION as well as AWARENESS. When we understand the dynamics of dating and domestic violence, we can take action to end it.

We might not always know what is going on in someone else's relationship, but we can sometimes notice signs that the relationship is abusive. Sometimes, we might have a gut feeling that something is not quite right. Domestic violence, dating violence, relationship violence, and intimate partner violence are different terms that describe the same thing: a pattern of behaviors that one partner uses to gain power and control over the other. Click here to learn more about the tactics that abusers use to make their partner's world smaller. 
Supporting young people
As in adult relationships, dynamics of power and control can be present in teen relationships. Often, abusive behaviors escalate slowly, so they might be minimized or excused as one-time incidents. It is also common for abuse to take place over technology, taking place in more private ways. Often young people’s relationships are minimized by our culture, referred to as “puppy love.” This can detract from the very real impact of dating violence. Young people can and do experience abuse in relationships. Helping young people identify abusive behaviors in a relationship early sets them up for a lifetime of healthy, fulfilling relationships, and supports them to do the same with their peers.

Having these important conversations with young people can be done in age-appropriate ways. You can have these conversations with young people in elementary school, middle school, and high school.
As we celebrate our 50 years of WISE, we continue to explore the history of the organization through the decades. Click here to read last month's installation.
DVAM flashback

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence first created a national Day of Unity in October 1981 as a way to unite people and organizations working on domestic violence issues. That same year, WISE joined the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. The WISE 24-hour crisis line was established (866-348-WISE) and 150 office and crisis line calls were received during the year.

The Day of Unity quickly evolved into an awareness week, and in October 1987, Domestic Violence Awareness Month was launched nationwide. In 1989, Congress passed Public Law 101-112 which officially designated October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Leading the Upper Valley to end gender-based violence

Program Center · 38 Bank Street · Lebanon, NH 03766
every hour, every day · 866-348-WISE