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Domestic Violence Awareness Month marked in October

Maybe some day, some wonderful day, there will be peace in all homes, here and around the world. Hands will not be lifted in anger and horrible words will not be flung at family members.

People will be safe in their homes. Until that happens, it’s important that the issue of domestic violence continues to be discussed openly and candidly.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and our local Women’s Center has events that focus on the issue throughout the month.

In a story that appeared earlier this week, Alisha Young, program director for the Women’s Center, said Domestic Violence Awareness Month is recognized nationally.

“It’s to bring awareness to domestic violence, what it is and for people to come out and support the survivors of domestic violence,” Young told Journal Staff Writer Christie Bleck for the story.

For instance, purple pinwheels now line a walkway at the Marquette County Courthouse to show the courthouse stands by survivors of domestic violence, she said, with purple being the issue’s symbolic color.

Next Wednesday, a “Purple Pet Parade” is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Marquette Commons.

“People can bring their pets, their dogs,” said Young, who noted purple bandanas will be part of the walk. There also will be homemade pet treats and light refreshments for the “human partners.”

Kristin Olsen, domestic violence coordinator for the Women’s Center, noted the Women’s Center has a program called Sasawin Safe Haven, a foster care pet program for survivors who don’t want to leave their pets behind.

“The idea is that pets are such a large part of people, and our survivors, it kind of promotes that too — that we don’t want to exclude that,” Olsen said.

Other events:

“Shop ’til it Stops” will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 18 at the center’s Pak Ratz Resale Shop where a table with information on domestic violence will be set up.

≤ The annual candlelight vigil is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Marquette Commons. The vigil is for people lost due to domestic violence and to support survivors.

≤ Oct. 26 is Purple Light Night in which people are asked turn on a purple light outside their homes that evening to “turn the town purple” and support survivors.

Throughout the month, the Women’s Center gets the word out, through social media and other means, about the topic and its collaborative efforts with law-enforcement agencies and others.

“Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury, more than car accidents, mugging and rapes combined,” Young said providing these statistics:

≤ Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equals more than 10 million women and men.

≤ One in three women and one in four men have experienced domestic violence.

≤ Victims of domestic violence lost nearly 8 million days of paid work annually in the United States alone.

For those don’t realize the gravity of the problem locally: in 2018, the Women’s Center served about 600 clients, answered over 3,000 crisis calls and provided approximately 3,400 shelter nights.

The Women’s Center is located at 1310 S. Front St., Marquette. It can be reached at 906-225-1346. The Munising office is located at 101 Court St., telephone 906-387-4554.