Survivor support shines with Domestic Violence awareness events

Domestic violence awareness month was first declared in the 1980′s and is held in October, marked by a purple ribbon, which represents strength and courage.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 10:51 PM CDT
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(WIFR) - Domestic violence occurs every 15 seconds in the US and many don’t have the strength to speak up about it, according to

Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first declared in the 1980s and is held in October, marked by a purple ribbon, which represents strength, courage and dedication to ending domestic violence and in support of those affected.

One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence.

Many survivors can be too scared to come forward, but experts fight to lower that statistic.

“I do believe that every last person has come into contact with someone who has experienced some form of abuse,” Ciarra Ardson said, prevention coordinator and supervisor at VOICES of Stephenson County.

“Honestly a month is probably not enough, you know this is something our community has experienced 365 days,” said Nikki Ticknor, Family Violence Coordinating Council Coordinator. “We use the month of October to really try to create awareness, educate the community but also to tell survivors that they’re not alone, that the community is here to support them.”

Throughout October, various events will be held across the Stateline to recognize survivors and combat domestic violence, which took the lives of 84 people between 2013 and 2014 in Illinois, including 15 children.

“Boone County this year has decided to do a clothesline project which people can write different messages and affirmations. It shows people in the community that we believe you, we see you and that you’re supported here,” said Ticknor.

Stephenson County will host “Light the Night Purple” on Oct. 19, encouraging everyone to illuminate the sky with purple light bulbs.

“Put those lightbulbs out and turn their lights on and obviously this is very powerful and significant to have many people representing in that kind of way.”

You can purchase purple lights outside the “VOICES Book Nook” for $5 dollars from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5 in Freeport’s Lincoln Mall.

Winnebago County will hold its 22nd annual “Shining the light on domestic violence” event at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 at Rockford City Hall.