Relationship Violence Awareness Month

October is Relationship Violence Awareness Month

Every October, Sexual Violence Response recognizes issues of violence in intimate relationships and the impact they have on all of us. Once again, we ask you join us in observing Relationship Violence Awareness Month (RVAM) as we remember, honor, and celebrate survivors, advocates, and activists and affirm that relationship violence has no place in the Columbia University community.

Turn Up the Volume

“Turn Up the Volume” is a year-long campaign to amplify the voices and conversations of communities who have been left out of the discussion around sexual and gender-based violence.

While there is growing awareness and action in communities across the country, often the people who are most affected aren’t always the voices that are heard. Starting with Relationship Violence Awareness Month and in key moments throughout the year (National Stalking Awareness Month in January and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April), SVR will be presenting programming and events that "turns up the volume" on these issues to grow understanding and show support.


SVR is sponsoring the following virtual events on issues related to sexual and intimate partner violence. Please register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Purple Table Talk 
October 20, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. ET

Expresso Yourself: Navigating Interracial and Intercultural Relationships
October 27, 2020 | 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. ET

Turn Up the Volume on Relationship Violence Awareness Month
October 29, 2020 | 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. ET

Lights at Lerner

Since 2015, each October we light Alfred Lerner Hall in purple—the national color of RVAM—to show our support for the prevention of relationship violence. We also do this to connect with communities across the country committed to this effort. 

This year, in the midst of a global pandemic, Relationship Violence Awareness Month calls for something different. Health and safety in all its forms is a priority for our community -- which led to the decision not to light Lerner Hall in purple. We are not, however, forgetting, ignoring, or avoiding the core issues that survivors and communities face at the intersections of the pandemic and relationship violence.

Moment of Pause

Instead, during this unprecedented time and given the various realities COVID-19 has presented to our community, we ask that on Thursday, October 22, 2020* at 2:03** p.m. ET, the Columbia community join us in taking a collective moment of pause.

The purpose of this pause is to create space to recognize the difficult moment we are in. During Relationship Violence Awareness Month and always, we honor survivors, especially at a time where there has been a rise in relationship abuse. But also, we make space to grieve what we have lost, acknowledge the changes we have seen and experienced, and reflect on the ways we continue to adapt to the various ways this moment has informed our current ways of being.

If there is another moment more convenient for you to pause or another way you choose to reflect on this issue, we hope you will still join us in energy and thoughts.

*Thursday, October 22, 2020 is the national Wear Purple Day for Relationship Violence Awareness Month.
**Represents the date SVR first opened in Butler Hall (February 3, 1992).


About Sexual Violence Response

Sexual Violence Response provides confidential, trauma-informed support through crisis counseling and intervention, advocacy, prevention, and outreach. Our mission is to eradicate all forms of gender-based violence. Through collective community action, the program is committed to social change and creating a culture of accountability.

Read more about the resources we offer students.