October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). DVAM evolved from the “Day of Unity” in October 1981 conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation that were working to end violence against women and their children.

The impact of domestic violence continues to be felt through out South Dakota. One in three Native women are victims of domestic and sexual violence. Nationally one in four women will be the victims of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime, and, on average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.

Throughout October, communities across the country will mourn for those whose lives were taken by domestic violence, celebrate the tremendous progress victim advocates have made over the years, and connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.

This year, the South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence (SDCEDSV) and it’s 23 member programs encourage the public to join in National Unity Day events on Monday October 1st. Simultaneous Speak Outs and Candlelight Vigils are being held in Pierre, Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Events will take place at 5:00 pm MT at Memorial Park Bandshell; Haines Ave. in Rapid City; at 6:00 CT on the State Capitol Building front steps; and at the Main Library, 200 N. Dakota St. Advocates and Survivors will share their expertise and inspiration at each

SDCEDSV is also pleased to announce that US Attorney Brendan Johnson will speak at the Sioux Falls’ Speak Out, and Assistant US Attorney Randy Seiler in Pierre and Assistant US Attorney Gregg Peterman in Rapid City. The support and commitment of the US Attorney’s Office is greatly appreciated.

Participants in the October 1st events will receive a tee-shirt, a tote filled with DV educational materials. Join us in this event to stand together for ending violence. For more information call the SDCEDSV at 605.945.0869 or 605-391-6402

Speak Out! & National Day of Unity
Monday, October 1st at 6:00pm
200 N. Dakota Ave. Sioux Falls Main Library Branch
Speakers include survivors, advocates, and U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson.
Event is open to the public.
Event will be followed by a candlelight vigil to remember victims of homicide by domestic violence.

Simultaneous events are being held in Pierre SD and Rapid City SD.

Session will open with Drum Group "Eagle Spirit". Following speakers candlelight vigil will take place on Main St. outside the Sioux Falls public library Main Branch.


U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson

Sweet Grass Inc. from Sisseton, SD
~Sophia Renville-Brown
~Tammy Goodwin
~Norman Watts

Mita Maske Ti Ki - My Sister Friends House from Sioux Falls, SD
~Kerry Stephenson
~Sarahjo Johnson