By Mara Koch
Special to The SUN
You may have seen the purple ribbons on the lamp posts in downtown Pagosa Springs. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and those ribbons are part of Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program’s (ACVAP) Purple Ribbon Campaign to bring community awareness to this serious issue. Each ribbon symbolizes a life that was touched by domestic violence in Archuleta County. Last year, 313 victims of domestic violence and their families received services.
The Clothesline Project is on display during the month of October, as well. This ongoing art exhibit features painted T-shirts that were created by survivors of domestic violence and their families. Each shirt is an expression of that individual’s experience of violence and reflects the emotions, trauma, and hope experienced through healing. The art exhibit is on display at the Ruby Sisson Library through today, Oct. 10, and will then move to Pagosa Springs High School bus hall. It finishes in the rotunda at Town Hall beginning Oct. 23.
With purple being the color for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, there will also be Purple Socks games at PSHS. Last Friday, Oct. 4, the boys’ soccer team wore purple socks against Crested Butte to show their support for raising awareness around this important issue. Other Purple Socks games include the varsity football game Oct. 18 and the volleyball games Saturday, Oct. 26. The cheerleaders will be promoting healthy relationships as well by wearing their purple socks at all of these sports events. All student athletes learned more about the importance of healthy relationships in conjunction with this awareness event.
ACVAP will be highlighting healthy relationships at the “Working Together As a Team” co-ed community volleyball game, Saturday, Oct. 26. This fun-filled awareness-raising event will take place immediately following the varsity volleyball match against Centauri, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Come to cheer on the Pirates, and stay to show your support for healthy relationships.
ACVAP provides a 24-hour free and confidential hotline service to the people of our community. Not only does this hotline provide advocacy for victims of domestic and sexual violence, but it is also available for all community members who have concerns about their relationships. If you’re not sure whether your relationship is healthy or bordering on abusive, there is help. This hotline is primarily a function of volunteers and provides an essential service that makes a difference in the lives of many. ACVAP is offering advocate training for potential volunteers beginning Oct. 14. Call 264-9075 for more information about becoming a volunteer or for the 24-hour hotline.
Wear your purple during the month of October, and show that healthy relationships matter to you.