October is Domestic Violence Awareness/Action Month!

This month we're joining hands with advocates, survivors, and supporters to shine a light on the critical issue of domestic violence in San Mateo County, where thousands of survivors endure abuse every year. We look forward to collaborating by starting conversations and sharing stories and resources to take action against abuse.

How Can You Take Action this Month?

1. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Read this page for important facts and resources to better understand domestic violence.

2. Share What you Learn: Empower your community by sharing resources and information. Need some help? Scroll down to download our Social Media Toolkit!

3. Open Conversations: Have open conversations with your network about intimate partner abuse. You may not realize it yet, but your voice could be a lifeline for someone in need.

4. Donate & Volunteer: Consider donating or volunteering your time to help survivors and support CORA's mission. Every contribution matters.

5. Purple Thursday: Take a photo wearing purple on October 19 (Purple Thursday) and tag us on social media--we'll share it to help raise awareness!

Also, find out what your city is doing about domestic violence and learn how you can get involved! CORA is partnering with several cities in the county to make official proclamations that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Is your city on the list?

Cities proclaiming October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

  • Brisbane - October 5
  • Hillsborough - October 9
  • Menlo Park - October 10
  • San Mateo - October 16
  • San Bruno - Date coming soon!
  • San Carlos - Date coming soon!

Proclamations will be part of your city's City Council meetings, which are open to the public, if you want to attend! Check our event list below for more details. You should also be able to find more information on your city's website.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence/intimate partner abuse is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse and/or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control).

Batterers can make it very difficult for victims to escape relationships. This can cause many survivors of intimate partner abuse to suffer from abuse for decades. It's important for survivors to know that the abuse is not their fault, that they are not alone, and that help is available.

What are Some Warning Signs of Domestic Violence?

The abuser may give off warning signs but they may be subtle, such as:

  • They insist on moving too quickly into a relationship.
  • They are very charming and seem too good to be true.
  • They insist that you stop participating in leisure activities or spending time with your family and friends.
  • They are extremely jealous or controlling.
  • They do not take responsibility for their actions and blame others for everything that goes wrong.
  • They may make frequent put-downs and may criticize their partner's appearance.
  • Their words and actions don't match.

Any one of these behaviors may not indicate abuse, but they may be red flags and it's important to be alert to them.

How Can I Help a Friend Experiencing Domestic Violence?

If you have a friend experiencing intimate partner abuse, it can be hard to resist being prescriptive. You're worried about them, and you want to help them get out of a situation that is putting them in harm's way. It's important, though, to let your friend take the lead on what happens next while still being supportive.

Here are 5 ways you can help:

1. Listen with compassion. Your friend came to you because they trust you and feel comfortable sharing something difficult and scary with you. Listen with compassion and empathy. Try to think about how you would be feeling in their situation and comfort them as best you can.

2. Don't judge. It's pretty common to hear the phrase "Why did she stay?" or other judgmental phrases or questions directed at survivors of abuse. A better question is, "Why does the abuser choose to abuse?" Victims may stay because they are made to think they cannot survive on their own, financially or otherwise. Often abusers create a financial situation that makes it nearly impossible for the victim to afford to leave. There are plenty of other completely legitimate reasons why a victim may stay with their abuser, but it's better to focus on how to be of help and support.

3. Let your friend decide what to do next. Survivors know how to survive. They are familiar with their abuser's tactics, habits, and triggers. As you provide support to your friend, let your friend take the lead. This makes it easier for them to prioritize their safety.

4. Encourage making a safety plan. One of the top priorities of CORA's Crisis Counselors is to work with callers on a safety plan. A safety plan may include memorizing a new location to go to when it's safe, changing up a routine, setting aside a go-bag with essentials, planning for the safety of any children involved, and more.

5. Offer resources. CORA is a great resource for survivors of intimate partner abuse living in San Mateo County. If your friend is not local, then CORA can still connect them to other resources, help with safety planning, and emotional support. Our 24/7 Hotline is 800.300.1080.

The Intersection of Domestic Violence & Firearms

On October 5, CORA will hold its biggest fundraiser of the year, and the theme of the night is Unveiling the Urgency of Domestic Violence & Firearms.

This year to date five homicides have occurred in San Mateo County (apart from a tragic mass shooting early in the year), and were all as a result of domestic violence. Two of these involved firearms. As we explore the intersection of these two serious issues, we have learned that the many statistics connecting them are equally alarming. This has affirmed how important it is that we focus on this topic, sharing how truly urgent this intersection is. We want to continue the conversation throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month by providing resources here and on our social media channels for the community to share.

DVAM 2023 Social Media Toolkit

Raise awareness on social media with our DVAM 2023 Social Media Toolkit!

This toolkit includes resources with stories of resilience and information to help you understand the impact of domestic violence on survivors, including how the intersection of firearms plays an alarming role.

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Events Happening this DVAM

Domestic Violence Awareness Committee DVAM Tabling   

CORA will be doing outreach to college students at Canada College to share about our services. Stop by our table!
Date: October 4
Where: Canada College, Redwood City
Time: 11:30am - 2pm

An Evening with CORA: Unveiling the Urgency of Domestic Violence & Firearms 

Join us for our biggest fundraiser of the year! Hear from California Attorney General, Rob Bonta, on the intersection of domestic violence & firearms, participate in a fund-a-need to help CORA's clients, and enjoy some light bites and drinks.

Date: October 5
Where: Green Hills Country Club, Millbrae
Time: 6-10pm

DVAM Proclamation - Hillsborough

Residents of Hillsborough! Join us as your city officials proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Date: October 9
Where: Hillsborough City Hall
Time: 6-7pm

Speak Up Presentation

Calling business owners and community members! Stop by to learn more about CORA's newest program, Speak Up. This program gets local business owners and community members involved in stopping domestic violence through education and safe best practices.

Date: October 16
Where: Healthy Cities Tutoring San Carlos- 828 Chestnut Street San Carlos
Time: 10-10:30am

DVAM Proclamation - San Mateo

Residents of San Mateo! Join us as your city officials proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Date: October 16
Where: City of San Mateo City Council Meeting, location TBD
Time: 6-7pm

QT Healthy Relationships Skills Class

Join CORA and San Mateo County Pride Center for this presentation on healthy relationship skills in Queer & Trans relationships. Register online! tinyurl.com/qtskillsclass

Date: October 18
Where: San Mateo Pride Center
Time: 5-6:30pm

Purple Thursday

Date: October 19

Join us in raising awareness and joining in solidarity with survivors and advocates by wearing purple for Purple Thursday!

Tabling at Skyline College Health Fair  

CORA will be doing outreach to college students at Skyline College to share about our services. Stop by our table!

Date: October 25
Where: Skyline College, San Bruno
Time: 10am-2:30pm