10.06.2021

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Press Release

For Immediate Release
Turn the Purple Lights Sal-ON for Domestic Violence Awareness Month!
Purple Light Nights!

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services is brining awareness to our community with the traditional color purple and increasing knowledge for the awareness of intimate partner violence and several engaging events.
“Sometimes we just need to be reminded of how we can give help, hope, and healing to those suffering in a violent relationship,” Jennifer Hecker, Executive Director said.
Throughout the month of October, you can see the purple lights around Hays in participating salons and spas. These businesses are participating in a window awareness decorating competition. The winners of the competition will be announced at the Purple Light Nights tree lighting ceremony at Union Pacific Plaza, 10th and Main St.
Options’ Colby office, 1480 W 4th, will also have a tree lighting ceremony at 7 PM, Tuesday, October 5th.
An extra special addition this year to the lighting ceremony is a children’s book walk from the Hays Public Library. The library will share the book, A Terrible Thing Happened, by Margaret Holmes, for families to read in the park as they view the lights. This book is especially engaging for children ages 4-7.
Other experiences for the special month will be an art event downtown Hays and a role play open to the community at Big Creek Crossing.
Purple Lights Sal-ON!Eight salons in Hays will decorate their windows for the month in purple! The decorated windows will be judged for creativity and thoughtful design by two volunteers. Awards for the awareness volunteers will be given at the Purple Light Nights tree lighting ceremony on the October 7th. The salons have an opportunity to participate in a special free training for the CUT IT OUT® program.
CUT IT OUT® The Beauty Community Against Domestic Abuse is a program dedicated to mobilizing salon/spa professionals, students, and others to fight the epidemic of domestic abuse in communities across the United States. CUT IT OUT® builds awareness of domestic abuse through awareness materials to be displayed in salons, the “Give the Power Back” initiative to involve salons in helping local domestic violence agencies, and training salon/spa professionals and students to recognize warning signs and safely refer clients to resources.
Options’ campus advocate, Anniston Weber, will be providing the CUT IT OUT® training via a Zoom free for the whole community and for any professionals or students on Tuesday, October 12, 2 PM and Friday, October 15, 10 AM. Please contact Weber at Options, anniston@help4abuse.org or 785-625-4202, for a Zoom invitation.

Participating Salons
Salon Ten O Seven, Hays Academy of Hair Design, Brickhouse Day Spa, Salon MUAH, J Studio and Salon, Emerald Image Salon, Desbien Designs Salon, Park Avenue Salon.
Students from several Fort Hays State University classes in art and criminal justice departments will be participating in a window trivia scavenger hunt for class credit by visiting the salons on the map. Answers to the questions below will be on the windows.
Trivia Questions
• How often does domestic violence happen in Kansas?
• How often does domestic violence end in murder in Kansas?
• Does domestic violence cause homelessness?
• What was the number of reported domestic violence incidences in Kansas in 2019?
• Is there more or less domestic violence in rural areas?
• Does a firearm in the home increase or decrease the likelihood of a victim’s death?
• Does domestic violence affect a baby’s birth weight and need for special care?
• Can a man be a victim of domestic violence?
Paint the Town Purple!
Come Paint the Town Purple with FHSU Arts for Social Change, FHSU Center for Empowering Victims of Gender-based Violence, and Options.
Paint the Town Purple is an “art therapy” event that encourages individuals to express themselves and their experiences through creating. Those who participate are encouraged to leave a piece of their artwork behind to be included in a larger art piece that will be displayed at Fort Hays State University. This is a come and go event at the Downtown Hays Pavilion, in the Union Pacific Park, 10th and Main St. Saturday, October 9th from 1-5 PM. Art supplies and a goodie bag will be provided!
In Her Shoes ® Role Play!
This role play will increase awareness of the struggle survivors of domestic violence face. By being assigned different characters, such as law enforcement, judge, advocate, abuser, victim, etc., the participants get to be a part of the life of a fictional victim. These role plays are windows into the lives of those that have a part in the journey of a survivor of domestic violence. This event is open to the schools and community members and will be 6 to 8 PM at Big Creek Crossing.

Options Domestic & Sexual Violence Services is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing options for help, hope, and healing to victims of violence and abuse. Options provides services to 18 counties in Northwest Kansas; services are always provided free of charge, and with complete confidentiality.