Shining the Light on Domestic Violence during October
I normally try to avoid Times Square. If you’ve ever been (or even if you just share my deep appreciation for peaceful, serene places), you might know the feeling of being overwhelmed and dizzied by the thousands of people and by all the bright billboards that, even during the night, cast a bright glow over Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets in New York City. But last Wednesday night was a different experience altogether.
On October 12th, Joyful Heart joined a coalition of advocates, community members and officials from across New York City and the state in Times Square to Shine the Light on domestic violence. In a brief but incredibly powerful period of about 25 minutes, more billboards than I could count lit up purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the thousands of people in Times Square couldn’t help but notice them.
From every vantage point, one message could be seen on the billboards over and over again: “You are not alone.”
To see one of the brightest corners of the world shine purple to raise awareness about this issue that directly affects one in four women and one in thirteen men was incredible.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a month dedicated to shedding light onto this issue that most of the time, affects people behind closed doors.
“Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of race, background, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. One in four women will experience it in her lifetime. Although almost half the women murdered in our state are killed by their intimate partners, the number one fact is that most cases are never reported,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.
“Let’s join together as one city and make sure that we protect people.”
It was a true privilege to be there, side-by-side with passers-by, advocates and the tall buildings with their bright building draped in purple, in this effort.
But New York City wasn’t the only place that is shining the light on domestic violence this month. Over in Los Angeles, various landmarks also turned purple.
In fact, just last week, the Los Angeles Board of Education passed a landmark resolution to build a mult-million dollar teen dating violence prevention program. According to a press release from Peace Over Violence, a leader in the movement to end violence for decades that helped shape the resolution, it provides for district coordination of teen dating violence intervention and prevention strategies at all Los Angeles Unified School Distict schools, training of school staff, faculty and administrators, as well as prevention education for students and parents/caregivers and ongoing monitoring of teen dating violence incident reports and prevention activities.
This is a month that the White House is calling for real prevention: teaching young people how to treat others with respect and be in healthy, peaceful relationships. From the Presidential Proclamation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
“By engaging men and women, mothers and fathers, and schools and universities in the fight, we can teach our children about healthy relationships. We are asking everyone to play an active role in preventing and ending domestic violence, by stepping up to stop violence when they see it. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recommit to making sure that no one suffers alone, and to assisting those who need help in reaching a safer tomorrow.”
Read the full Presidential Proclamation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month here.
Communities Raising Awareness for Domestic Violence
What has your community been doing to shine the light on domestic violence this month? What have you been doing? If you or your town, school, office, youth group or club has been doing anything to raise awareness about domestic violence, we want to know! Post your pictures to our Facebook wall and we’ll add them to our new Facebook album showcasing all the efforts happening coast to coast and beyond.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Lendon on October 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm, and is filed under Domestic Violence, Issues in the News, Joyful Heart Events, News & Events, Our Issues, Partner Events. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|