Have you seen the splash of purple?

By Cheryl Bowdridge

Special to The PREVIEW

Have you seen the splash of purple around town?

The businesses have dashed their windows in purple, purple luminaries light up the windows and purple bows don the telephone poles, all to honor the survivors and victims of domestic violence in Archuleta County.

This week, the Pirate girls will wear purple socks at the volleyball games and the Pirate football team will honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month by wearing purple socks at the Oct. 23 game.

You may be wondering if domestic violence and/or sexual violence is a problem in our small community. Yes, there is domestic violence and sexual violence in every community.

Even though we live in a small town where we are free from most violence and crime, domestic violence is still an issue that we at the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program (ACVAP) deal with on a daily basis. One in four women and one in 18 men will be affected by some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. ACVAP serves about 400 victims a year.

Domestic violence affects people of all genders, race, religions, economic status and age. It affects people we know and love every day. Much of the time, violence in a relationship is covered up and hidden from the outside world. The victim is usually afraid to report it; they are often controlled and or manipulated in ways that do not allow them to be self- sufficient. It may be hard to understand or even believe that a single person can have so much control and power over another human being, but it is a very real problem and the only way to help them is to become more educated about domestic violence and how you can help.

If you know someone who is suffering in a relationship of power and control or physical abuse, try talking to them. Statistics have proven that growing up in a home where domestic violence occurs can lead to a future of being in a violent relationship or being an abuser themselves. They may even believe that it is normal if this is all they know of relationships.

There are resources to help people overcome these obstacles in their relationships and they may need someone to reach out and offer them help. Call ACVAP today at 264-9075 to see how you can help. ACVAP is always looking for volunteer advocates and donations to help support victims are always appreciated and welcomed.