Unalaska officials proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month
On Tuesday, Unalaska declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The national campaign was founded in the 1980s as a way to connect people working to end domestic violence and to spread awareness on the subject.
"[I] urge all citizens to work toward the elimination of domestic violence and all violence within families and within dating relationships of all kinds,” said Mayor Vince Tutiakoff Sr. at a City Council meeting last week.
At the meeting, M. Lynn Crane, Director of Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, cited devastating statistics of domestic abuse.
“Intimate partner violence accounts for about 15% of all violent crime in the U.S.,” Crane said. “And three or more women are murdered by a current or former male intimate partner every single day in this country.”
Domestic violence can take many forms beyond physical abuse, such as emotional, psychological or financial, she said — all of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although mainstream media has recently drawn attention to domestic violence cases, such as that of Gabby Petito — a young woman who was reported missing in September and is likely a victim of domestic violence — Crane said there is still a lot of work to be done for many other victims.
“While the case of Gabby Petito — as a young, conventionally attractive white woman receives nationwide media coverage — the abuse, disappearances and murders of Indigenous, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Latinx and LGBTQ victims receive far less or, more often, no media coverage at all,” she said.
Crane said local organizations are taking a step in the right direction by organizing and hosting events like the recent Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons forum that took place in Unalaska in September. But, she says, raising awareness is a long and ongoing process.
USAFV is hosting a radio program this month to spread awareness about intimate partner violence. Their conversations will touch on a range of domestic violence topics and will air on Fridays at noon throughout October on KUCB. The program will rebroadcast on Saturdays at 4 p.m.