Woman holds in her hand a terrified Halloween pumpkin

The month of October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month throughout the United States to create an awareness of this issue with the general public and to identify support services and resources for victims of domestic violence. This 30-day campaign lets victims know they don’t have to hide behind masks to protect themselves, but to seek help because there are supports out there waiting for them to speak out.

As a society, we are asked to be on high alert and be able to identify a red flag for a potential harmful situation appears. The Domestic Violence Awareness campaign has helped many women, children, and men step out of harmful relationships.

After a month of championing for domestic violence victims and delivering messages to stop the violence, we celebrate the end of October by dressing up in violent costumes, blood and gore. And, in this is the contradiction.

Domestic violence victims often refer to their perpetrators as monsters, and every Halloween we let our children dress up as scary characters and carry weapons. Why is it that we accept violence on Halloween, but challenge it every other day of the year?

Just think – if our country had as much enthusiasm about abolishing domestic violence as they do for celebrating Halloween, we could really make a difference.

Violence hasn’t always been the basis of Halloween. In theory, Halloween originated from the Celtic Festivals of Samhain. The Celts considered Hallows Eve the day before the New Year. November 1st marked the changing of seasons, and was associated with darkness, cold, and death. Halloween was considered the day ghosts came back to Earth. On this day, people often wore masks to protect themselves from ghosts mistaking them as spirits. As the tradition grew, October 31st became a night where children would parade the streets dressed in heroic costumes, like pilots, firefighters, doctors, and policemen. Today, as we all know, Halloween costumes cater to a much more violent theme.

How do you feel the transformation of Halloween has shaped the views of violence and domestic assault for today’s younger generations? Do you see the contradiction?

If you are looking for more resources on domestic violence, please contact the Crisis Nursery directly of visit us online at http://www.nexustreatment.org/sites/kindred/programs/crisis-nursery

Sources: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

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