By Ursula Bunnell Timreck, Executive Director, HELP of Door County
It all began with a day of unity held in October 1981. The intent was to connect domestic abuse advocates across the nation who were diligently working on ending violence against women and their children. The day soon evolved into a week of endless efforts to bring awareness at a local, state and national level on various themes that all tied together – themes such as intimate partner violence, child abuse, elder abuse, post-separation violence, and domestic violence in various cultures, and in LGBT communities.
It was in October 1987 that the entire month was dedicated to the celebration of survivors, the mourning of those who lost their lives, and the continued advocacy efforts in ending the plight of domestic violence. That same year earmarks the commencement of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. Public law 101-112 was passed by congress that same year designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence month. This same legislation has been passed every year since.
If you happened to pass by Martin Park on Thursday, Oct. 1, first you would have noticed a group gathering for HELP’s very first “Walk With Me” event. A gathering of approximately 60 men, women and children took part in the walk in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. With the commitment of Jerod Santek from Write On, Door County the group was honored with poetry written and shared by Estella Lauter, Bruce Dethlefsen and Sharon Auberle.
HELP is asking that Door County residents take some time to stop in the lobby of Baylake Bank and the Sturgeon Bay Library to view displays that bring awareness to domestic violence throughout the month of October. Also take note of the many businesses and homeowners that are recognizing the month by shining a purple light in their windows and front porches.
If only for a brief moment let’s not forget the victims and survivors that may likely be someone you know or love.
If you are struggling with abuse or know someone, call to set up an appointment to see a domestic violence advocate and discuss your options at HELP of Door County, Inc. at 920.743.8818.
This article is brought to you in part by the Door County Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Teams and the Door County Elder and Adult-at-Risk Interdisciplinary Team.