Relationship Violence Awareness Month 2023

Nationally, October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  It was established to recognize victims who were affected by relationship violence and to connect them to resources, educate the general public about the realities of violence within romantic relationships; and to de-stigmatize conversations about relationship violence.

The WGAC has rephrased “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” to “Relationship Violence Awareness Month”, as we believe the term better reflects experiences of young adults who experience violence outside of a domestic and/or marital framework. During the month, we work with campus partners to bring awareness to dating/relationship violence and educate on the different ways we can help end it. Our primary focus is on cultivating healthy relationships. We do this by providing students with tips and tools on how to manage, and find recourse if they or somebody they know is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

For October 2023, our Relationship Violence Awareness Month theme is “Healing Happens in Community” which is a reflection and meditation on the ways that trauma heals in healthy relationships where survivors of interpersonal violence are seen, heard, validated, and respected. In working to build a culture of consent on CSU’s campus, it is imperative that we consider how we build intentional, trauma-informed interpersonal and community relationships. This means being mindful of the ways we show up for ourselves and for each other which includes being aware of and active in our accountability practices when it comes to the scales of harm and the inclusive practices that form our support networks. 

When imagining these networks on campus, we are inspired by the work of adrienne marie brown and Complex Movements in using the element of Mycelium as a symbol for this awareness month. Mycelium, which is the largest organism on earth, is a thread-like formation that grows in an underground network in connection with mushrooms and other fungi. Its purpose is to support healthy ecosystems by breaking down plant matter. The mycelial framework adrienne marie brown gives us in Emergent Strategy invites us to ask the following:  

Interconnectedness: How do we take care of ourselves in relation to others? How are we caring for others? What does relational autonomy look like? 

Remediation: What practices are we engaging to remove harmful and/or hazardous elements of campus culture? How are we practicing repair? 

Detoxification:  What are the salves and the medicines that are needed now? What will be needed in the future? What medicines do we already have that we are not embracing?

This October, we invite everyone in our campus community to engage, learn, and reflect on these questions and more alongside us through our programmatic offerings. These programs are intentionally designed to provide students with tools, skills, and resources to build and transform relationships with themselves and each other in the effort to build a consent based, trauma informed community culture.  

We want to hear your feedback!

Did you attend one of our 2023 Relationship Violence Awareness Month programs?