GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the YWCA of West Central Michigan is looking to “paint Grand Rapids purple.” And 20 local businesses are pitching in to help.
This is the first year the YWCA is spearheading the campaign.
Varnum Law plans to change its sign’s color to purple on Oct. 11, with other companies to do the same as the month wears on.
Several coffee shops — including The Sparrows Coffee & Tea & Newsstand and Brave Noise Brew — will donate in support of the YWCA.
One in four women and one in seven men have suffered physical abuse by their partners, according to CDC data.
YWCA Chief Executive Officer Charisse Mitchell says Domestic Violence Awareness Month has existed for more than three decades but abuse should not be the norm.
“It's important for us to let survivors know that they're not alone, because so many people suffer in silence,” says Mitchell. “There’s so often survivors feel like no one will believe them. No one will listen to them. Folks may blame them for the choices that they're making.”
Mitchell adds, “We can let them know that it is not your fault, that it is not okay.” She says a candlelight vigil will be held at the Blue Bridge on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. Those who wish to show their support are welcome to attend.
If you need help, reach out to the YWCA at 616-454-YWCA.