Domestic Violence Awareness Month
It has been 32 years since a dedicated group of advocates from around the country joined together for the first official “Day of Unity” in the work to end domestic violence. While each community recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month in their unique way, events that remember and mourn those who lost their lives to domestic violence, that celebrate and honor survivors, that recognize those who work tireless every day to end domestic violence, and that engage communities to become more aware and educated about domestic violence and its impacts are an important part of October’s activities.
Florida’s 42 certified domestic violence centers and their community partners are engaged in programs and projects year around to change and save lives. Domestic Violence Awareness Month provides an opportunity to highlight some special events planned by certified domestic violence centers throughout the state.
Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. (ACT):
Abuse Counseling and Treatment will have a series of events in October around the Ft. Myers area designed to raise awareness of domestic violence. Throughout the month, six billboards around the area will display digital messages on domestic and sexual violence on local roadways with the center’s hotline number displayed at the bottom. The South Fort Myers football team is creating posters centered on promoting non-violent behavior, ending dating violence and advocating healthy relationships with an event at the high school the last week of October. A Clothesline Project with apparel containing anti- domestic violence messages will take place the third week of October at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Betty Griffin House:
Betty Griffin House is sponsoring the Runway to Safety Fashion Show on Tuesday, October 29th with local news anchors Mary Baer and Richard Nunn from WJCT returning to show their stuff. They will be joined by cheerleaders from the Jacksonville Giants basketball team. The show begins at 11:00 a.m. at the Marriott Sawgrass Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach. Betty Griffin House hosted a Candlelight Vigil on October 4th to recognize victims and survivors in St. Augustine. Joyce Mahr, CEO at Betty Griffin House was joined by Marie Colee, a domestic violence survivor.
Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA):
On October 4th, CASA held The Many Faces of CASA Masquerade at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club on Central Avenue. The event included dinner and a silent auction. Masks, created by Jeffrey Plummer, will be auctioned to raise funds. Jeffrey is the sister of Stacey J. Plummer, who was murdered by her husband in 2006, the Masquerade is in her honor. CASA co-hosted a gala ballroom dancing event on October 5th at the T. Pepin Hospitality Center. The dance benefited CASA and other non-profit groups in the area.
Domestic Abuse Council:
On September 28th, the Domestic Abuse Council launched Domestic Violence Awareness Month with their annual Purple Parade at Riverfront Park on South Beach Street in Daytona Beach. Participants in the two mile walk down Beach Street wore purple with the Daytona Drum Line leading the way. On October 9th, they hosted their third annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Luncheon at the Sunset Harbor Yacht Club in Daytona Beach.
Harbor House joined with the Orlando Police Department and the City of Orlando for the It Takes Courage door handing event on September 21st. Volunteers walked the neighborhoods placing hanging cards on the doors of homes to raise awareness about domestic violence. Harbor House will again host the 37th Annual Purple Door Luncheon from noon to 1:00 p.m. on October 11th; the keynote speaker is Sharon Love, founder of One Love Foundation and mother of Yeardley Love, the University of Virginia lacrosse player who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. The Luncheon begins at noon at the Sea World Ports of Call in Orlando. For more information: www.harborhousefl.com/purpledoor. On October 13th, Harbor House is joining with the IamGladysCabrarra Foundation to raise awareness through the First Annual Fighting Violence One Step at a Time Walk. The walk organizes at 9:00 a.m. at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs and begins at 10:00 a.m. Music, food and other activities will be part of the celebration.
Haven of RCS:
The 12th annual Faces of Domestic Violence Luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, October 10th at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater. The luncheon focuses on survivors telling their stories to help increase awareness. Lissette Campos of Tampa Bay’s ABC Action News served as emcee.
Hubbard House, Inc.:
Hubbard House, in partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office and Northeast Florida law enforcement agencies and domestic violence centers, held a press conference to officially launch Domestic Violence Awareness Month. On October 3rd, Hubbard House hosted the 19th Annual Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast. The 500+ person breakfast featured first-hand accounts of strength and hope. Throughout October Hubbard House will pose educational statistics and/or blogs relating to domestic violence. Follow the posts at www.facebook.com/hubbardhouseinc, or www.twitter.com/hubbardhouse and share them to help increase awareness. Advocates are also urged to “Go Purple” by changing their social media profile picture to Hubbard House’s purple ribbon icon, which can be found at the Facebook and Twitter sites listed above.
Hope Family Services and SPARCC:
On October 2nd, the inaugural Men of Courage Breakfast gathered leaders from Sarasota and Manatee Counties to take a strong role in the work to end domestic violence. A Man of Courage will support services to victims of domestic violence and pledge to be non-violent in their own lives. Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube and Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight provided their leadership and prestige to the event.
On October 12th, the Amelia Island Wine Festival will benefit Micah’s Place. Award-winning wines from multiple countries, along with food samples from local restaurants will be available for all attendees. Special tote bags with the Festival logo will be available for sale to benefit Micah’s Place. Tickets for the Wine Festival are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. The tote bags are $5. The festival runs from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at The Shops at the Amelia Island Plantation. More information on the festival can be found www.ameliawine.com. Micah’s Place is also hosting the Consignment Crawl on October 25th and 26th from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Various local resale, consignment, thrift and antique shops will have their wares at Micah’s Purple Dove Resale Center in the Amelia Island Market Shopping Center located on East SR 200 in Fernandina Beach. Micah’s Place will celebrate 10 years of service to domestic violence survivors on November 9th. Guest speaker is domestic violence activist and best-selling author Victor Rivas Rivers (A Private Family Matter). This Roaring 20s themed event begins with a VIP cocktail reception at 5:00 p.m. with Mr. Rivers and dinner at 7:00 p.m. A unique silent auction to raise funds is also included.
Peace River Center:
On October 2nd, Peace River Center hosted the Domestic Violence Task Force Symposium. October 4th-6th Peace River Center joined the Heartland Riders’ Association for Ride to the Heartland. A Clothes Line Project will be exhibited to bring awareness to domestic violence and on October 12nd, Taking Steps to End Domestic Violence will take place at Highland Hammock State Park in Sebring. The event features a 2.7-mile walk that includes a T-shirt. Cost is $20, with children under 10 free. Friendly pets are allowed. Heather’s Hope, a 5-mile walk/run takes place at the Lakeland Yacht Club beginning at 8:00 a.m. on October 19. Peace River Center shares in the proceeds. Contact Bonnie at 863-660-8456 for more information; On October 21 at 4:00 p.m., the Silent Witness memorial takes place in the main court room at the Polk County Court House in Bartow. Sheriffs from the local counties will attend. For more information, call Sherrie Schwab at 863-4133-2708.
SafeHouse of Seminole:
On October 11th, SafeHouse of Seminole will hold its Second Annual “PURSES for a PURPOSE” in Altamonte Springs. Live music, food and drinks will just be one part of the festivities. Guests can walk through booths filled with items, especially purses, being sold at a live auction designed to raise funds to combat domestic violence. Later, a walk around the lake followed by a beautiful lighting of sky lanterns will honor the survivors of domestic violence. “PURSES for a PURPOSE” begins at 7:30 p.m. at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs.
A community tradition returns with the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” a one-mile walk featuring men in red stilettos. This event is designed to raise funds and awareness for victims of domestic violence in three communities. The first walk was October 5th in Stuart; the second is October 12th in Port St. Lucie beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Tradition Square; the third walk is October 26th in Vero Beach beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Indian River Mall. Those scheduled to participate include Congressman Patrick Murphy, Indian River Sheriff Deryl Loar, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder, Martin County Fire Chief Joe Ferrara and John Walsh, host of television’s “America’s Most Wanted.” Those wishing to register may visit www.safespacefl.org.
Salvation Army West Pasco:
On October 3rd, the Salvation Army West Pasco held the Third Annual Candlelight Vigil to honor those who lost their lives to domestic violence. The Salvation Army will host the First Annual Alliance for the Cause Concert. This family fun event will feature both Christian and Rock bands such as Reckless Mercy and 3 Cats and a Hat. Food and Beverages and plenty of family activities will make this a great event for all. It runs from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on October 19th at the Rotary Concourse at 15325 Alric Pottberg Road (just off state road 52 and ¼ west of Suncoast Parkway); The annual Speak Out event, open only to current and past clients, takes place on October 24th from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Survivors are encouraged to tell their stories.
Shelter for Abused Women and Children:
On October 12th, The Shelter will participate in the Haitian Health Fair to increase awareness of domestic violence within the Haitian faith-based community. Nail files, rack cards, program information cards and support will be provided by The Shelter. On October 19th, The Shelter is participating in “Mercato Goes Purple” with stores in the Mercato Mall on Highway 41 displaying purple items, restaurants serving special entrees and purple drinks all day. The Shelter is providing promotional information. Several community figures and key stakeholders will participate. On October 28th, The Shelter is participating in the Children’s Fair and Peace March in Immokalee. In this event, the rural community in Immokalee comes together to provide a Children’s Fair with The Shelter providing food, beverages and toys to participants and community leaders. The fair runs from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Immokalee Sports Complex with a leisurely Peace March taking place from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The Spring of Tampa Bay:
On October 18th, The Spring of Tampa Bay will host the 23rd Annual Mabel H. Bexley Gift of Peace Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center to bring awareness and raise funds to provide services to survivors. The event will include a first look at a new awareness video, highlights of Spring programs and important remarks from guest speaker Natalie Baird, a family practice attorney and domestic violence survivor. Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. with the luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Tickets start at $50; Also, Friends of The Spring will host their annual fall luncheon on October 25th in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is the site for this dine in or take out event. Tickets are $25. Further details are available for both events by contacting Mindy Murphy at MMurphy@thespring.org.
Women in Distress of Broward County:
Women in Distress of Broward County is hosting the 15th Annual SAFEWALK-RUN 5K on October 26th. This event brings more than 1,500 community members consisting of at least 75 teams, individual walkers and runners together raising awareness of domestic violence and raising funds for much needed programs and services offered by Women in Distress of Broward County. The event begins at 7:00 a.m. at Tradewinds Park on West Sample Road in Coconut Creek. To register, email email@example.com.