October is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. According to Greenwich police records, domestic violence is the most reported violent crime in Greenwich.

Last year, YWCA Greenwich responded to more than 3,500 hotline and crisis calls. YWCA Greenwich is the only state designated and accredited provider of domestic abuse services in Greenwich, with staff who are licensed to provide a variety of victim services.

“Domestic violence continues to plague many of our citizens in Greenwich and the surrounding areas,” said Mary Lee Kiernan, President and CEO, YWCA Greenwich. “It’s a difficult issue to talk about, and our goal is to give victims a voice and bring this crime out of the shadows.”

On Tuesday, October 2, 1:00 pm, First Selectman Peter Tesei will read a proclamation announcing October as Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Other speakers will include Mary Lee Kiernan, Meredith Gold, Director, YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services, and Greenwich Police Chief Jim Heavey.

The event will take place on the steps of Town Hall and all members of the community are invited to attend.

During October, YWCA Greenwich will sponsor activities to raise awareness of this issue and support for YWCA Domestic Abuse Services. Citizens will spot an eight-foot-tall “purple purse” in locations around town. The purple purse, built by YWCA Greenwich, is a metaphor for women’s power and purple is the color of domestic violence.

Most people think only of physical abuse when they consider domestic violence.

However, according to the Allstate Foundation, financial abuse happens in 99 percent of all domestic violence cases. During the month of October, the Allstate Foundation sponsors the Purple Purse Challenge, an online fundraising event to raise money to support domestic abuse services. YWCA Greenwich is participating in the challenge. The organization that raises the most money will receive a $100,000 grant from the Allstate Foundation.

The YWCA purple purse will be traveling around town all month. Volunteers and counselors from YWCA Domestic Abuse Services will be at the locations to answer questions and provide information about domestic violence and where to seek help. Citizens can also call the domestic abuse hotline at 203-622-0003. All calls are confidential, and YWCA services are free to anyone who reaches out.

Also, in support of Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, Greenwich shops will display purple ribbons and provide customers with information about domestic violence and how to seek help.

Greenwich Fire, Police and GEMS personnel will wear a purple ribbon lapel pin and have a purple ribbon car magnet to place on their official vehicles as a sign of support for victims of domestic violence.