Purple ribbons represent domestic violence across the United States. Here at the Houlton Barracks there are 11 purple ribbons on the front lawn, representing the 11 lives lost due to domestic violence in Maine, this year.
The Hope and Justice project place these ribbons here each October for Domestic Violence awareness month.. along with placing the ribbons they hold events all month long including their Chalk it up events that are held in Houlton as well as Fort Kent.
“the idea is to have visuals, that show non violent activities.” says Prevention educator at Hope and Justice project, Leslie Garvais.
These images will be drawn by local high school students. Another activity is a reading of “I call my hands gentle” led by Garvais.
“it helps them to understand that its their choice what they do with their hands, they are responsible for the acts that they use their hands for.” say’s Garvais.
After she reads the book she has the children trace their hand on a piece of black construction paper and decorate it with what the book represented to them. Gervais tells us the purpose of this month is to help people of all ages and gender understand the devastating reality of Domestic Violence.
“it surfaces everywhere, it can happen to anyone, it’s a community problem and that’s why I think its important that we involve community members of all gender when it comes talking about domestic violence and it will help everyone to understand it a little better.” say’s Garvais.
Gervais tell us one in four women will be affected by domestic violence in their lifetime..The goal is to lower that number in future by making more people aware of this cause. Hope and Justice project also has a hotline available to those who need help or just someone to talk to and it can be done completely confidential, as a community we need to come together and recognize this issue and do all we can to solve it.