October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
It was originally started in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a Day of Unity to connect battered women’s advocates across the country.
Domestic violence affects millions of people every year. That includes men and women, of every race, every religion, every culture, and every status. It can be physical, emotional, financial, and/or sexual/reproductive. It’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It’s stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use of the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it.
Wise Options at the YWCA is not only a shelter for those in need, we have the resources to help them get back on their feet and stay safe. We can help file Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders, assist in court accompaniment and other legal services. We also have counselors and case managers that work with clients on a daily basis to see that they are getting the help they need.
For the last few years, the YWCA has hung purple flags in Downtown Williamsport to raise awareness that domestic violence happens, and it happens in our very community. Attached to these flags are small cards with a name, photo, date of birth and the day they died. These were victims at various stages of their lives. Some were children, barely starting their lives. Some are older. But they were all residents of Lycoming County.
Every year, we have to add new names to our list. And every year, it makes us a little sadder. Let’s talk about domestic violence and how it happens in Lycoming County. Talk about it. Spread awareness. Wear purple to show you won’t stand for anymore deaths from violence. And remember the names of those who have passed away.