During October, YWCA Spokane has scheduled weekly events to increase awareness about domestic violence, inspire action and raise $50,000 to support survivors served by the agency.
For Domestic Violence Action Month, people in Spokane are encouraged to show support for survivors by wearing purple as the national color of DVAM. Business partners will shine purple lights and post YWCA’s free materials in stores and offices. Promotions on social media will have the hashtags #paintspokanepurple and #ywcadvam.
Activities also will help arm community members with actions individuals can take to make Spokane a safer place for all.
“Spokane has the highest rate of domestic violence in Washington state with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men impacted by domestic violence,” said YWCA Spokane CEO Jeanette Hauck in a news release.
“The ongoing stressors of COVID-19, long-term isolation and economic struggle amplify an already devastating situation. We have seen this first hand, with a 50% spike in calls to our 24-hour domestic violence helpline since January 2020. This is a community issue and requires a community response.”
In its campaign to raise critical funds for survivors, YWCA Spokane said the $50,000 goal for October will ensure its free and confidential services remain available for the 16,500-plus women, men, children and families served each year. Critical services for domestic violence victims and their children include emergency shelter, counseling, legal services, advocacy, job readiness, child care and pre-K programs for low-income children.
People can register to receive access to the DVAM events, activities, free DVAM swag and updates about the fundraising campaign at ywcaspokane.org/dvam. The schedule includes:
• Chalk Walk – Free community kickoff in Riverfront Park on Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m. YWCA participants will cover the sidewalks in Riverfront Park with awareness, affirmations and reflections.
• YW Table Talk – Business call-to-action on Oct. 13. Participants can watch a discussion with Hauk; Annie Murphey, executive director of the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition; and Kiantha Duncan, Spokane NAACP president and Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence board member. They will talk about the role businesses can and should play in responding to and preventing domestic violence.
• Survive to Thrive – A local survivor shares her journey on Oct. 20. This film is presented through mission partner Hamilton Studio. The survivor’s story shifts away the focus from a survivor’s endurance and toward the capacity to heal and build a future free from violence.
• Shop for a Cause – YWCA is asking business partners across Spokane to donate a portion of proceeds to support its services during the week of Oct. 18-23, which is recognized by YWCA associations across the country as “Week Without Violence.” A list of participating businesses will be posted closer to that week.
• Pathways Forward – “Learn What We Each Can Do To Help” is a virtual presentation on Oct. 27. It will explore the role people play in responding to domestic violence as individuals, including tools and resources to help equip on how to help a friend and support the community.
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