Each year, millions of Americans are abused by a loved one. In an effort to raise awareness, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence initiated the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 1987. Twenty-nine years later, DVAM remains a vital part of the effort to reduce or eliminate domestic abuse.
As reported by the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, DVAM has three primary objectives: to mourn those who lost their lives to domestic abuse, to celebrate the survivors, and to connect businesses and individuals to work together to end domestic violence.
Over the last 15 years, brothers Aaron and Evan Steed built their own network of businesses willing to work together and provide free services to victims of domestic abuse. Although they have formed partnerships with businesses throughout the United States, the brothers are now “challenging 10,000 businesses to take the #MoveToEndDV pledge and make a donation or provide a product or service for free to help the shelters that support victims of domestic violence.”
— Women’s Advocates (@wadvocatesMN) October 13, 2016
Although they have formed partnerships with businesses throughout the United States, the brothers are now “challenging 10,000 businesses to take the #MoveToEndDV pledge and make a donation or provide a product or service for free to help the shelters that support victims of domestic violence.”
Aaron and Even Steed founded California’s Meathead Movers, which primarily employs college athletes, in 1997.
As explained on the MoveToEndDV website, the brothers received an alarming number of calls from victims of domestic abuse, who were desperate to leave volatile situations. On one occasion, the movers were actually confronted by an alleged abuser.
Aaron Steed said nobody was harmed during the confrontation. However, the incident convinced he and his brother to partner with a local domestic violence shelter and offer free moving services to victims of domestic abuse.
Meathead Movers still offers their own services to domestic violence victims. However, they also founded the #MoveToEndDV movement, which currently includes a network of 182 business and individuals who have pledged to offer free assistance or services to victims of domestic abuse.
Some of the services offered by those participating in the MoveToEndDV movement include mental health counseling, financial planning, housing, legal services, real estate services, and income tax preparation.
— domesticshelters.org (@domesticshelter) October 8, 2016
As reported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, victims remain in abusive relationships for a number of reasons. However, many victims are simply unable to leave due to financial constraints.
Meathead Movers, and those who have pledged to join the MoveToEndDV movement, have vowed to help victims leave abusive situations by relieving the financial burden.
Although the entire month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 16 through 22 is the 2016 National Week of Action.
During the Week of Action, Americans are encouraged to actively participate in raising awareness about domestic abuse. Suggested activities include initiating conversations about domestic violence and sharing stories of survival.
— domesticshelters.org (@domesticshelter) March 22, 2016
Meathead Movers has actively participated in raising awareness and assisting victims of domestic abuse for 15 years. Although the company has made great strides in their pledge to assist domestic abuse victims throughout the nation, they want to recruit enough businesses to assure no victims are left behind.
Domestic violence victims include men, women, teens, and children, who are emotionally, physically, and/or mentally abused by a loved one. It affects people of all educational, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
In his proclamation designating October 2016 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, President Barack Obama encouraged victims of domestic abuse to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE, or visit www.TheHotline.org.
Individuals and businesses interested in providing services to victims of domestic violence can visit MoveToEndDV.org for more information about joining the movement.
[Featured Photo By Kamira/Shutterstock]