By Alyssa Schnugg
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this year Family Crisis Services and Communicare have partnered up with The Tech to spread the awareness throughout the community.
According to the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in seven men have been victims of violence by an intimate partner. According to the most recent statistics, more than 15 million children witness domestic violence each year.
“These statistics are frightening, but by talking about it and taking part in the awareness you are giving a voice to someone who is suffering in silence and to honor the victims that are no longer here,” said Mary-Margaret Chaffe, victim advocate with the Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi.
Family Crisis Services and Communicare reached out to the Oxford-Lafayette School of Applied Technology to see if students could help with a Domestic Violence Awareness Project.
“We wanted wooden silhouette cutouts of different people to represent the range of the ones who are affected by domestic violence,” Chaffe said. “Loved ones, family, friends, children, neighbors, co-workers, pets, strangers.”
School director Joey Carpenter agreed to allow the students to help with the project.
Students in the carpentry/construction and teacher academy classes laid down and traced each other to create silhouettes that were then painted purple.
The silhouettes will be placed in four locations throughout October with signs that will read, “Domestic Abuse Affects Each of Us,” which were also created by the Tech students.
“We want this to be a powerful message to the people in this community that domestic abuse affects so many and there are resources out there for victims and their families,” Chaffe said. “This doesn’t have to be an issue that you take on by yourself or behind closed doors.”
Family Crisis Services and Communicare will have many awareness signs and purple ribbons displayed around Oxford throughout the entire month. Anyone can help take part in getting the message out by wearing purple, painting your Halloween pumpkin purple, or putting a purple ribbon at your business or residence.
“If someone asks you about your purple let them know you are standing up against domestic violence and that “Love Shouldn’t Hurt,’” Chaffe said.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.
Family Crisis Services of Northwest MS – 662-234-9929 or – 1-800-230-9929
Communicare – 662-234-7521 – Project Thrive – 662 – 816-2146
Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence (MCADV) – 1-800-898-3234
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)