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Social media campaign shines light on domestic violence

Purple Light Nights brings awareness, education

October 13, 2011

By Brandon Blackwell

Cleveland State is helping to color Northeast Ohio purple in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

The Domestic Violence & Child Abuse Advocacy Center (DVCAC), with support from CSU, is asking Northeast Ohio residents to support Domestic Violence Awareness Month by changing their Facebook profile pictures as part of the Purple Light Nights campaign.

Purple Light Nights Facebook profile picture“Domestic violence is an issue that is often surrounded by silence and shame for those affected, and isn’t always discussed openly or championed by the community as a whole,” said Linda Johanek, chief executive officer of DVCAC. “The Purple Light Nights Facebook campaign allows everyone in Northeast Ohio to shine a light on domestic violence in our community, show their support for victims, and show that our community cares.”

In addition to the Facebook campaign, DVCAC is asking residents to display purple lights in their home or office.

Those wanting to participate in the viral social media campaign can visit the DVCAC Facebook fan page to download a Purple Light Nights profile picture and caption.

“On the [Facebook] page we invite fans to participate in fun, interactive activities like sending in pictures of their purple lights and emailing us video messages of support for domestic violence victims so we can post them on the DVCAC Facebook page,” said Beth Babin, coordinator of the campaign at CSU and assistant professor in the School of Communication.

The DVCAC is scheduled to host a Break the Silence, Break the Cycle luncheon at Windows on the River Oct. 18 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tickets for the DVCAC fundraiser are $75 and will include lunch and a talk by special guest Wambui Bahati. Windows on the River is located at 2000 Sycamore St. in Cleveland.

A Purple Light Nights Walk hosted by Radio One Cleveland is scheduled to take place Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. on West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue.

The Mareyjoyce Green Women’s Center at CSU will be decorating around campus and making Purple Light Nights campaign information available to students.
“Our goal is to create awareness and distribute information about domestic violence and the services that are available for victims,” said Molly Scheetz, a DVCAC development associate.

The Purple Light Nights campaign is a national fight against domestic violence. The campaign began in Washington in 2006, and now over 20 states and some Canadian provinces participate each year. This is the fourth year DVCAC has run the campaign in Cuyahoga County.

“People don’t need to have been personally affected by domestic violence to participate,” Johanek said.

DVCAC provides prevention, education, intervention, advocacy services, and leadership to the community on issues of child abuse and domestic violence.

For more information, visit www.dvcac.org.