October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month– a month dedicated to bringing awareness to an issue that is too often kept private. Throughout the month we saw the community get involved in several ways by volunteering for ribbon making, doing outreach, attending and supporting us at one of our events, participating in the Sue B 5K, and hanging clothesline projects in local businesses.
A group of Boise State Students chose to focus on raising awareness about Domestic Violence for the service component of their University Foundations 200 class. Taught by Sara Fry, the class focuses on the ethics of safety, which connects to the mission of the WCA–to provide “safety, freedom and healing from domestic abuse and sexual assault.”
Partnering with the WCA, the first thing they were able to accomplish was getting the lights in the Student Union building on campus changed to purple. When asked what they want to accomplish, they agreed: “By showing purple lights in the Student Union Building, we hope to bring awareness to domestic violence as well as pay our respects to survivors. Purple is not a color you see every day in such a prominent manner, so it really catches the eyes of those who view the SUB at night. We hope it sparks interest and curiosity in viewers so they wonder about the purpose of the lights. The light also symbolically represents honoring survivors, since the act of domestic violence is born in a place of darkness. As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ We are not only “shining light” on the issue, but also underlining the message that being full of light and love can really make a difference in someone’s life. Even if it is just one person that feels moved by this display of support and alliance, we will have accomplished our mission of spreading unwavering support, awareness, and advocacy for domestic violence survivors.”
The class has more plans for November to continue raising awareness and starting conversations. Seeing the community participate like this throughout the month has brought feelings of gratitude and hope to see the way people come together to continually go above and beyond in helping our community thrive.
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