published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Purple nights to raise awareness for domestic violence
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- The month of October is well-known for the pink ribbons of breast cancer awareness, but the Peace River Center is hoping to shed light on another cause that shares the month of October.
Domestic violence is a problem that often goes unreported and unacknowledged in many communities throughout the country.
October marks the month-long awareness campaign for domestic violence. Peace River Center Safehouse is a victim services organization established to provide safety, shelter and resources to victims of domestic violence in the community.
The center is working to shine a light on Domestic Violence Awareness by putting together a Purple Light Nights campaign.
Peace River Outreach Specialist Laura Hawthorne is heading the campaign and has big plans to increase awareness surrounding domestic violence in the area.
Throughout the month of October, Peace River will be selling (taking donations) purple light bulbs. The bulbs should be placed in the lamppost of businesses and homes to show support of domestic violence awareness.
"I heard about it through another organization. I know that they do it over in the Fort Myers area. I just thought it would be a good idea to spread awareness," Hawthorne said.
October has become most known for another the breast cancer awareness campaign with millions of supporters. Hawthorne finds the situation a challenging one.
"When people see the purple ribbons they don't know what they are for. We want to change that. We are hoping that when people see these purple lights on these businesses they'll ask 'What's that for?' and they'll become aware and informed," Hawthorne said.
"We would like to see purple lights shining through windows, on porches, at the front doors, or around the streets of residents and businesses in Highlands County."
Each of the purple lights will help with the promotion of domestic violence awareness. Bulbs are now on sale and may be purchased through Peace River Center. A single bulb is $4, a two-pack of bulbs is $7 and a string of purple lights is $20. To purchase bulbs contact Hawthorne at 386-1168.
Currently, Peace River Center is at capacity. The Safehouse holds up to 15 people, though Hawthorne says they will work to accommodate those in need.
"We never turn any one away. We will try to fit them in however we can," said Hawthorne. "We want everyone to know that domestic violence has no place in our community. This will help with raising the awareness."
Funds raised through the Domestic Violence Purple Light Nights campaign go directly to the Peace River shelter.
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