October has been declared National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and employees in Normal wore purple on Tuesday in order to endorse awareness of the cause.
Beginning in 2011, the Purple Tie Initiative was started in an effort to promote awareness within the community of Bloomington-Normal.
“Raising awareness can let people know that help is available and where and how to seek it,” Adena Meyers, psychology professor, said.
The Purple Tie Initiative is one of many programs that raises awareness throughout the month to get citizens participating in their activities as well as informing them more about the topic.
Several events will be taking place in the community throughout October. As part of the program’s activities, the Bloomington-Normal Soroptimists hosted a “No More, Know More” Lunch and Learn last Wednesday, held at Lancaster’s.
Other events earlier this month included the Normal Community High School and YWCA Stepping Stones informational event called “No More” at the high school last Thursday.
Monday was the candlelight vigil hosted by the Mid Central Community Action’s Countering Domestic Violence, while the Quad held the ISU F.L.A.M.E. clothesline project on Tuesday.
Many more events will be held in the area throughout October to help raise citizens’ awareness of the topic.
Today, Heartland Community College will be putting on a domestic violence panel presentation in the Astroth Education Center.
Oct. 17 will serve as the “No More, Know More: Ending Sexual Assault,” jointly sponsored by YWCA Stepping Stones and Heartland, held at HCC.
One event that will pique ISU students’ interest is the ISU F.L.A.M.E. Take Back the Night rally and march, which will take place Oct. 22 in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.
The Break the Silence Breakfast, hosted by PATH, will be Oct. 24 in the board room at United Way.
Rounding out the month’s activities will be the 11th Judicial Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council Conference, which will be Oct. 30 at the Chateau Hotel and Conference Center.
The first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month has been observed since October 1987. The observation had evolved from the First Day of Unity by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence — which was held in October 1981.
The group’s goal was to bring together abused women’s advocates across the country who were all working to end violence against women and their kids.
“[National Domestic Violence Awareness Month] brings to public attention a problem that many experience only in private,” Meyers said.
“This might motivate or empower some current victims to seek help and lets people know they are not alone,” she added.
“It also gives survivors a forum to speak publicly about their experiences if they wish to do so, which can be a very uplifting and empowering experience.”