Let’s talk about domestic violence

Published 8:32 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dear Editor,

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. On behalf of victims and survivors in our community, I urge you to talk about the topic. You might be surprised what you learn.

Given the statistics, you likely know someone who has survived intimate partner abuse or was exposed to domestic violence as a child. Nearly 5,000 calls to central Kentucky’s 24-hour domestic violence hotline will be answered this year. Twenty-one percent of individuals who are homeless in Kentucky report being a victim of domestic violence.

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Challenge yourself and your friends to learn more. Talk about the barriers that victims must navigate to seek help, speak up when you hear people using victim-blaming language, and be prepared to help someone in need.  

Today, thirty-five adults and children are living at our emergency shelter because their safety is threatened by someone they love. We will help more than a hundred more survivors this month seek legal protections, make connections during support groups, and work to recover from the financial devastation of abuse.

Showing your support for survivors is an easy way to begin a conversation.

I invite you to participate in Purple Thursday this week on October 19. Join me in wearing purple clothing during the day to raise awareness. Put on a purple shirt, a purple scarf, a purple pair of socks. Get your co-workers or community group to wear purple, too, and post a selfie or group photo on social media with a message about the cause.

Your voice matters.

A 24-Hour domestic violence hotline is available at (800) 544-2022. Visit GreenHouse17.org for a calendar of Domestic Violence Awareness Month events.

Andrea Lewis

Certified Domestic Violence Family Advocate