ST. GEORGE — October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and the Dove Center, Southern Utah’s local provider of shelter and outreach services for victims of domestic violence, invites you to join the campaign to “Break the Silence” surrounding domestic violence.
“Domestic violence doesn’t just harm our families; it affects our communities, our workplaces, our churches, our schools, ” said Dove Center trustee Ruth Weniger. “Yet there is silence and fear. We must break the silence to make a difference in the lives of women, men, and children who have experienced violence in their homes and families.”
Domestic violence is a complex problem and more common than many realize. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime; and three women are killed every day by a current or former intimate partner. As alarming as that is, it’s worse for women in Utah where the rate of violence against women is one in three.
“All the more reason to engage the public and provide information about healthy relationships, signs of abuse and how to access resources including emergency shelter,” Adele Pincock, outreach and development director, said. “The prevalence of domestic violence means we all are touched by it.”
There are a variety of events taking place throughout October to commemorate domestic violence awareness and celebrate survivors. Here’s a sampling:
- Oct. 1
On Oct. 1, Perks! Espresso & Smoothies Sunset Boulevard and Washington City locations; Pizza Factory at Ancestor Square; River Rock Roasting Company in LaVerkin; and Zion Canyon Brew Pub in Springdale have agreed to donate 15 percent of the day’s sales to the Dove Center in support of shelter services.
“The more business we can give these establishments, the greater the impact for local survivors,” Pincock said.
- Oct. 2
Annie’s Vintage Garden storefront sidewalk plays host to the Dove Center during the George First Friday Streetfest. Dove volunteers will be selling previously loved jewelry and sharing awareness materials about healthy relationships.
- Oct. 14
Dove Center will premiere a brand new video titled “Breaking the Silence – Making the Difference in our Community.” This video is aimed at preserving the Dove Center’s history, raising awareness and garnering support for the many programs and services provided by the center. More details will be released at a future date.
- Oct. 20
The Washington County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition will hold its annual candlelight vigil to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence on Oct. 20. Some details are still pending; please visit the coalition’s Facebook page for the latest updates.
- National events
On a national level, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence kicks off domestic violence awareness month, Thursday, at 11 a.m. EST with “Take A Stand” on the capitol grounds of Washington D.C. This awareness campaign begins with a moment of silence for the nation to collectively remember victims of domestic violence.
Attendees will hear from survivors, activists, volunteers, legislators and dignitaries as they stand up to speak out about domestic violence. Additionally, Oct. 22 is Purple Thursday, when wearing purple shows support for victims and a commitment to help break the silence that makes it difficult for them to escape violence or access services.
About the Dove Center
Dove Center is a not-for-profit organization committed to providing safe, caring and confidential shelter and advocacy and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Dove Center also aims to reducing the incidents of abuse through prevention education.
If you or a loved one is in need of information or resources concerning domestic violence, please call Dove Center’s 24-hour help line, 435-628-0458; or visit their website.
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