Each year, in October, advocates, survivors and supporters recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).
More prevalent than most realize, one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socio-economic status, can become a victim of domestic violence. This year’s campaign theme, #SomeoneYouKnow, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence.
The Wedding Gown Project
Locally, Hopeful Horizons will display wedding gowns throughout the month of October to raise awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence in South Carolina. Each gown is adorned with the names of South Carolinians who were killed in domestic violence incidents last year. The Wedding Gown Project can be seen at public library branches in Beaufort County, Jasper County, Hampton County and Colleton County.
The wedding dresses bear witness to the fact that, while many individuals walk into marriage full of hope, domestic violence shatters that innocence.
This year's dresses include two local victims -
Kalila Heyward-Saunders, 22 years old from Beaufort County
Deirdre Holmes, 52 years old from Colleton County
Town of Hilton Head Partnership
As part of the Town’s efforts to support Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Town of Hilton Head Island and Hopeful Horizons have announced a partnership to help stop domestic violence.
The Town and Hopeful Horizons are teaming up to help get the word out to potential domestic violence victims through a new poster program. The posters will be placed in a variety of public Town facilities, enabling victims to quickly access important, potentially lifesaving information.
Hopeful Horizons is providing the materials, which offer potential victims a lifeline to get out of a dangerous situation. The posters will be in both Spanish and English and give a toll-free number as well as a QR code to find out more about their shelter and victims advocate programs.
Mayor Alan Perry made the official announcement on Friday, Oct. 5 at Lowcountry Celebration Park.
Paint the Town Purple
The Beaufort Chapter of Zonta is helping Hopeful Horizons “Paint The Town Purple” with stencils promoting awareness of Domestic Violence. Look for these painted decals at businesses throughout Beaufort, Okatie, Bluffton and Hilton Head. Our goal is to have 50 businesses participating this year. If you'd like to Paint the Town Purple at your business, please email Rose Ewing.
Farmers' Markets & Community Events
Hopeful Horizons will be on hand at the following farmers' markets and community events to raise awareness about domestic violence and the organization's free services:
Wednesday, Oct. 4 - Marine Corps Air Station
Saturday, Oct. 7 – Colleton County Farmer’s Market
Thursday, Oct. 12 – Bluffton Farmers Market
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Hilton Head Community Market
Tuesday, Oct. 17 – Beaufort Naval Hospital
Thursday, Oct. 19 – Exchange Club of Beaufort
Thursday, Oct. 19 – Women’s Club of Hampton
Saturday, Oct. 21 – Port Royal Farmer’s Market
Saturday, Oct. 21 – Hardeeville Library
Tuesday, Oct. 24– Beaufort Naval Hospital
Wednesday, Oct. 25 – Privilege Walk at USCB Bluffton – Starts at 6:30 pm in front of library
Thursday, Oct. 26 – Candlelight Vigil at MCAS for DV survivors and victims
Saturday, Oct. 28 at 11 a.m., “Healthy Relationships” at the Hardeeville Community Library
Saturday, Nov. 18 – Port Royal LGBTQ Pride weekend
The City of Beaufort, the Port Royal Police Department and the Beaufort County and Jasper County Sheriff’s Departments are wearing purple awareness bracelets and purple ribbons on their uniforms for the month of October.
“The number of people – primarily women and children – killed in domestic violence incidents in South Carolina is staggering,” said Hopeful Horizons’ CEO Kristin Dubrowski. “However, those statistics are only part of the story. There are hundreds of people whose lives are impacted by domestic violence each day in South Carolina. Domestic Violence Awareness Month not only provides an opportunity to mourn those we’ve lost, but to also learn more about the issue, celebrate survivors and make a commitment to ending violence and abuse in our communities.”
Free and confidential help is available 24/7 for individuals experiencing domestic violence. Call Hopeful Horizons’ Support Line at 843-770-1070.
Hopeful Horizons is a children's advocacy, domestic violence and sexual assault victim services center that works to create safer communities by changing the culture of violence and offering a path to healing. The organization provides safety, hope and healing to survivors through evidence-based practices, outreach, prevention and education. Hopeful Horizons serves Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.