Ever since 1987, October has been the month where domestic violence and its victims are observed. The purple ribbon is used for a number of other important causes, but it’s also in honor of domestic violence victims and support for the growing awareness. Sadly, domestic violence is usually done in secret, but how about we shout about it from the rooftops!

So, in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the YWCA of West Central Michigan wants to “paint Grand Rapids purple.” And 20 local businesses are pitching in to help.

This is the first year the YWCA is spearheading the campaign, and they have marshaled a lot of support.

Fox17 reports that Varnum Law plans to change its sign’s color to purple on Oct. 11, with other companies to do the same as the month wears on.

There are several coffee shops — including The Sparrows Coffee & Tea & Newsstand and Brave Noise Brew who will donate in support of the YWCA.

Domestic violence has been such a silent issue and problem for too many years. Did you know one in four women and one in seven men have suffered physical abuse by their partners, according to CDC data? Shocking isn't it.

YWCA Chief Executive Officer Charisse Mitchell says, “It's important for us to let survivors know that they're not alone, because so many people suffer in silence. There’s so often survivors feel like no one will believe them. No one will listen to them. Folks may blame them for the choices that they're making.”

There will be a candlelight vigil at the Blue Bridge on Monday evening, October 11 at 7 p.m. Those who wish to show their support are welcome to attend. There is no cost.

If you need help, reach out to the YWCA at 616-454-YWCA.


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