October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Domestic violence is a difficult topic to discuss.  It is a widespread, well-hidden travesty across all communities and cultures.  In the U.S., 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will be assaulted in their lifetime by someone who says they love them. While you may not experience domestic violence yourself, you likely know someone who has or will.

DVSN provides support and resources to victims of domestic violence. We also strive to educate our communities on this intolerable issue with our programs and trainings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been forced to cancel all in-person events and regret the loss of these valuable educational tools in the fight against domestic violence. However, there are still a number of ways to get the word out and educate yourself about this complex and critical subject.

Books That Will Open Your Eyes!


Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

by Lundy Bancroft (2003)

Informative, insightful, stunning — an eye-opening, life-changing treatise that does an exceptional job of explaining the devastating and ruinous impact of domestic abuse.

Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship 

by Lisa Aronson Fontes (2015)

An excellent description of the more insidious and deeply damaging effects of psychological, emotional, and mental abuse.  Manipulation, humiliation, and degradation entrap and paralyze the victims of this subtle, cunning, and most private domestic terror.

Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror 

by Judith Lewis Herman (2015)

A groundbreaking, comprehensive, and outstanding treatise on trauma and the immense effort it takes to repair from its effects.  Brilliant and unmatched in its field.

No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us 

by Rachel Louise Snyder (2020)

This gripping, powerful, and deeply informative examination of domestic violence in the United States will shock you with what it unveils in an immensely readable and painstakingly detailed manner laced with compassion and empathy for victims of such widespread abuse.  

Why Do They Kill?: Men Who Murder Their Intimate Partners 

by David Adams (2011)

These murders are not crimes of passion or spontaneous, uncontrolled outbursts, but the brutal culmination of escalating, complex patterns of abuse leading to deaths that could be prevented if we paid attention.  Patterns and signals are expertly explored as a vital step toward prevention.

Choose DVSN as your Amazon Smile charity when purchasing these books (or anything else) and Amazon will donate 0.5% to DVSN at no additional cost to you!

Dive into Informational Websites and Online Databases


Not only is this website an excellent resource for locating shelters across the US, it also has an extensive library of instructive articles about all aspects of abuse.


A project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, this is a database of thousands of materials on gender-based violence and related issues.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Beyond a call & text help line for domestic violence victims, NDVH also has a wealth of information about understanding abuse, identifying it, and how to get help.


Specifically geared toward teens, Love is Respect provides visually dynamic info on dating in general, what is and is not healthy in a relationship, personal safety, and supporting others dealing with abuse.

Join Our 2020 Candlelight Vigil


As the coronavirus pandemic continues, DVSN is utilizing web platforms more and more. With the success of our “20 Days in 2020” Celebration of Hope Benefit virtual fundraiser last June, we are pivoting other events to an online format. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is home to our annual “Light in the Darkness” Candlelight Vigil honoring Massachusetts lives lost to domestic violence in the past year. Watch our social media throughout October for tributes to this year’s twelve victims leading up to a live event via Microsoft Teams on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 7pm.

The theme of this year’s vigil is “Start by Believing”. Not only is this the title of the book co-authored by Keynote Speaker Dan Murphy but it is a first step to ending the stigma that fosters an environment where abuse can thrive. When victims no longer fear blame and judgment for speaking out about the abuse they experience, then we can truly make headway against systemic domestic violence. Listening without judgment or blame goes hand in hand with believing. Though it may be an uncomfortable topic, survivors’ voices must be heard – both for their healing and for greater public understanding.


Start by believing and continue to listen
without judgment or blame.

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