With the changing season comes another important time of the year: Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month, or DVAM, is observed every year throughout the month of October. DVAM is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of these issues, share resources, and most importantly, support survivors.

This year, Joyful Heart is honoring DVAM by sharing tools for supporting the survivors in your life. At the beginning of each week, we’ll focus on a new topic and ask you to share stories about how to put it into practice. These tools—words, actions, and resources—can help you support someone who shares their personal experiences with you.

It takes courage for a survivor of sexual assault or domestic violence to share their story with anyone. Never underestimate your power to affect the course of a survivor’s healing journey.

You don’t have to be an expert to make a difference—you just have to be yourself. If someone shares their experience with you, it’s because you are a person they look to for support, compassion, and guidance. Although you can’t take away what happened to someone, you can be a source of comfort. We hope the suggestions offered this month can help.

We invite you to follow along with us this month on social media by following the hashtags #SupportSurvivors, #DVAM, and #DVAMTurns30. Feel free to tweet us your own questions or suggestions throughout October, too.

Thank you, as always, for joining us in this important work to support survivors and end this violence forever. We look forward to learning together this month and all year long.