Everyone has a role in creating safe homes and safe communities this October.
NOTE: The following article is the first installment of a four-week series focusing on raising awareness about domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and we hope to educate our community on this very important issue. In our communities, the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center has been serving victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and child abuse since 1978. Last year, HCWC served 2,269 victims of abuse (face-to-face) primarily from Hays and Caldwell Counties. 978 of those were victims of domestic violence.
By Holly Cunningham-Kizer
HCWC Chief Development Officer
Every year, advocates across the nation launch purple ribbon campaigns in the month of October encouraging community members to show their support for survivors of abuse. Here locally we encourage our neighbors to help HCWC raise awareness by taking part in creating Safe Homes, Safe Communities. Supporting survivors begins with a commitment to no longer tolerate violence and abuse in our communities.
What seems like the most insignificant display of support on your part can mean the world to someone struggling to survive in a violent home. When a community member puts a purple ribbon on their lapel, a magnet on their car or fridge, or a Safe Homes, Safe Communities sign in their yard it sends a message that they are an advocate for change and a part of ending domestic violence.
The month is full of opportunities to show support and engage in change. Several restaurants in Hays and Caldwell Counties are participating in Dining for Change, an annual profit-sharing event held during the month of October, public libraries in every community in both counties will have materials, promotional items, and a reading list for October. HCWC staff and volunteers will be at many community events all month long. A full list of DVAM activities can be found on www.HCWC.org. Each week, in addition to this article series, additional information including a downloadable Domestic Violence Awareness Month Toolkit will be available on HCWC’s educational website StopTheHurt.org.
If you need shelter, support, or resources due to domestic violence, please call our 24-hour HELPline at 512-396-4357 to talk to our advocates, all of whom are specially trained and educated to help you navigate abusive situations, both before and after leaving. To learn more ways to get involved with HCWC visit our website, www.hcwc.org for opportunities to volunteer, donate or get information on services.