October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

(EDITORS NOTE: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Clinton County Women’s Center interns from Lock Haven University have written articles, which will be published in the Sunday Lifestyle section during the month of October, to raise awareness about domestic violence.)

Every year across the country, October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic violence is defined as the deliberate intimidation, physical assault, battery, emotional and or financial control by an intimate partner. Domestic Violence Awareness Month was formed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Victims of domestic violence happen regardless of age, sex, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Domestic Violence Awareness Month developed from the “Day of Unity” in 1981 and gradually became a week, a month and so forth.

In October 1989, Congress passed a law officially designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence Awareness Month’s mission is to mourn loved ones who lost their lives to domestic violence, celebrate survivors and show support to end domestic violence.

The symbol for Domestic Violence Awareness Month is the purple ribbon. The history behind the purple ribbon is hard to pinpoint but there are various historical links. Purple was one of the colors of the National Women’s Party, and was used in the Women’s Suffrage Movement for equal rights.

Purple has been said to represent royalty because it formerly was a hard color to create. Purple also is associated with hope, and the color of a bruise. These are all various links as to why the color purple is used to symbolize Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Every year, the Clinton County Women Center recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. By planning a vigil in Triangle Park at 6 p.m. Oct. 25.

The Clinton County Women Center offers services for victims of both domestic and-or sexual violence all year round. All services are free and confidential and include a safe place to stay, options and-or empowerment counseling, outreach, legal advocacy, medical advocacy, youth advocacy, support groups, referral information, community/school education training and a 24-hour hotline, 570-748-9509.

Clinton County Women’s Center is located at 34 W. Main St., Lock Haven. Last year alone the Clinton County Women’s Center sheltered 132 residents with a total of 1,728 nights of shelter. In addition to shelter the center served 5,329 meals.

Mobley is senior at Lock Haven University, studying psychology.