PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Social Services and non-profit partner organizations are working hard during the month of October to provide the public with information and education on the fight against domestic abuse in South Dakota. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and allows people from communities to come together to help stop domestic violence and abuse.
“Keeping South Dakota families strong, safe and together is what we do every single day,” said Department of Social Services Secretary Deb Bowman. “We want to bring awareness to domestic violence and let it be known that it is a problem and something we can all work together to prevent.”
In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was held. In conjunction, that same year the first national toll-free hotline was created. In 1989, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month commemorative legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress and has passed every year since. Every October, activities are planned across the country to help prevent domestic violence and abuse. National, statewide, and community-based domestic violence prevention and victim service organizations around the country mark this month with recognition ceremonies, memorial activities, public education campaigns, community outreach events, news conferences and much more.
The South Dakota Domestic Abuse Program funds shelters for victims of abuse. Shelter programs offer a wide range of services including a 24-hour crisis line, transportation, immediate and safe shelter, food, clothing, counseling and information, and referrals to other services the victim may need.
“Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a time for action and for communities to come together; mourning those who have died and celebrating those who have survived,” concluded Bowman.
To find out how you can get involved in your community to help families or victims in your area or to report domestic violence, contact your local Department of Social Services office, http://dss.sd.gov/offices/index.asp, or call one of the hotline numbers listed below.
Domestic Abuse Hotline Numbers:
South Dakota Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-430-SAFE
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Hearing Impaired: 1-800-787-322