SHARE Inc., the Morgan County Domestic Violence Program, and the city of Fort Morgan are celebrating Domestic Violence Awareness Month during October.This year`s theme is “Turn the Town Purple.”
Purple is the color that historically has symbolized royalty, strength and happiness. So it is only fitting that it is the color used to honor those victims and survivors of domestic violence, according to SHARE officials.
Since 1995, national domestic violence organizations have launched campaigns to increase awareness and education about the gravity of domestic violence. This year, the city will recognize and promote the participation of the entire community in building social intolerance toward domestic violence.
SHARE itself has been around much longer than that.
Founded in 1981, SHARE is a local grassroots nonprofit organization that provides a host of services to domestic violence victims and their families in Morgan County, according to literature being passed out Monday along Fort Morgan`s Main Street.
SHARE reps were also handing out purple light bulbs and asking residents to put them in their front-door lights to symbolize the cause.
The group provides emergency shelter and 24-hour crisis line response; individual advocacy and support groups in English and Spanish for battered women; shelter and outreach programs for children and teens; court advocacy and assistance with protective orders and victim compensation; and assistance and referrals to other resources and agencies.
According to the SHARE brochure, domestic violence creates a violent and hostile environment that can have devastating emotional and physical effects on children. Children who witness domestic violence experience emotional and behavioral disturbances and are more likely to perpetuate the cycle of violence in the own relationships.
The literature provides more sobering statistics:
Men who witnessed domestic violence as children are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children.
Women who are abused as children are likely to become victims of abuse as adults.
Up to 41 percent of violent juvenile offenders witnessed domestic violence in their homes.
Perhaps the most important message contained in the SHARE literature, however is this: “You are not alone.”
The brochure says that “if you suffer from physical or emotional abuse, need safety or freedom from violence, need help with solving problems created by domestic violence or if you fear for safety or life, or the safety of your children…” you can speak with an advocate at SHARE by calling 867-4444 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799 SAFE and of course if you are in immediate danger call 9-1-1.
The schedule of Domestic Violence Awarenesss Month events is as follows:
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m. — Proclamation by the Fort Morgan City Council making October 2010 “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — SHARE Inc. staff and volunteers will be distributing purple balloons and candy at the front of the JC Penney store, 321 Main St. in Fort Morgan.
Friday, Oct. 8, 8 a.m. — B106 Radio “Morgan Matters” talk show. SHARE Inc. representatives will discuss its domestic violence program and the activities planned for the month.
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. — SHARE Inc. staff and volunteers will be distributing purple balloons, fliers and candy at the front of the JC Penney store, 321 Main St.
Monday, Oct. 18, noon to 1 p.m. — Brown Bag Lunch Presentation, “Intimate Partner Violence” by SHARE Inc. at Morgan Community College, 920 Barlow Road in Fort Morgan. From 1 to 3 p.m. “Love, Sex and Lies: An Intimacy Checkup” relationship screenings will be conducted by SHARE Inc. and SARA (Sexual Assault Response Advocates) Inc. at MCC.
Wednesday, Oct. 20, noon to 1 p.m. — Brown Bag Lunch Presentation, “How Come How Long!!” videos and discussions about the beliefs andmisconceptions of domestic violence, Museum Community Room, Fort Morgan Public Library, 414 Main St. Punch and cookies will be provided.
Friday, Oct. 29, 6 p.m. — “Flowers on the Bridge.” Speakers, music and poems will be presented, ending with participants tossing flowers over the Rainbow Bridge in a tribute to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Hot chocolate and cider will be provided.
For more information, call SHARE at 867-4444.