Local communities in southeast Indiana are being inundated with purple ribbons according to this release provided by Mary Mattingly, Community Outreach Director for Safe Passage Inc. They’re hanging from downtown street lamps, on city fences, at the courthouses and at local businesses. Purple is the color designated for domestic violence, and October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.
Domestic Violence is an alarming and pervasive problem in our country, and not just in metro areas, but small rural communities too.
“We see it in southeast Indiana, in the picturesque and quiet rural communities which people often compare to Mayberry,” said Jane Yorn, executive director and founder of Safe Passage. “Yet Domestic Violence does not discriminate by location, age, income, education or race. Since we started Safe Passage in 1997, we have helped over 14,000 victims and their children of domestic violence. Unfortunately, the numbers continue to increase.“
Last year 1059 victims were helped by Safe Passage through either the shelter, non-residential programming or the tollfree helpline.
Safe Passage, the sole provider of domestic and sexual victim support services in Ripley, Franklin, Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland and Jefferson Counties, has planned several activities in the communities to bring attention to the issue of domestic violence. Organizations throughout the country are also bringing attention to the pervasive issue.
Locally, DV Awareness month kicked off Sept. 22 in Brookville, with a Handbags 4 Hope purse auction and raised over $7000 for the nonprofit to better serve clients. On Sept. 28 at the Batesville vs. Greensburg high school football game, Safe Passage and New Directions, the domestic violence shelter and service provider in Decatur County, passed out purple ribbon stickers to attendees, relayed a DV message at the start of the game, placed banners and had an information/activity table for face and fingernail painting, glow in the dark bracelets and other activities to bring awareness to the issue. Similar outreach activities were conducted at the Oct. 5 East Central vs. Greensburg game at Greensburg . The two youth councils from both DV organizations helped with this awareness campaign too.
Quotes and inspiring messages from clients will be posted regularly this month on the Safe Passage Facebook page. Several local mayors, including Batesville, Madison and Rising Sun, are also issuing proclamations for October as Domestic Violence Awareness month.
Purple ribbons and banners have been placed in highly visible spots in the six counties, including Ohio County. Also, SP staff distributed treats and awareness cards to law enforcement agencies (Rising Sun and Ohio County sheriff’s dept) and various organizations they work with, to thank them for partnering with them and as a reminder that there is a place of healing and hope for those victims in our district.
For more information about Safe Passage and domestic violence, go to www.safepassageinc.org. The tollfree help line is 877-733-1990 or 812-933-1990.
Picture showing Ohio County Sheriff Glenn Potts with Safe Passage staffers was provided by Mary Mattingly.