GCC Shines the Light on Domestic Violence

Donning Purple to Raise Awareness

Related Media

BATAVIA, NY (10/10/2017) Genesee Community College students and staff will be going purple every Thursday in October as part of New York State's "Shine the Light on Domestic Violence" campaign, spearheaded by the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV).

The campaign encourages public, private and non-profit entities to join hundreds of others across New York State in raising awareness about Domestic Violence by embracing the color purple - the symbolic hue for the issue through shining purple lights on buildings or other structures in the community, wearing purple or sponsoring awareness events.

Specifically, all New Yorkers are being asked to wear purple on Thursday, October 19, 2017 to generate discussion and cognizance of domestic violence and dating abuse. Participate in and follow the campaign across the state using #WearPurpleNY and #ShinetheLight. The OPDV is encouraging the public to share photos of colleagues, friends, family, pets, workplaces and more to opdvpurple@opdv.ny.gov to be shared on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/nysdomesticviolence.

"GCC has participated in the OPVD campaign for more than seven years and each year, I am proud to see our Batavia campus and all seven campus centers don the purple and refuse to let the issue hide in the darkness. Wearing the symbolic purple is one small way we can take a stand and let those that may be suffering in silence know that they are not alone in the fight to end domestic violence," says Professor and Counselor, Jeannie Burdick-Cummings. "It's an issue all communities face and awareness campaigns like this unite us all in a quest to make everyone feel safer in their own homes."

In 2016, New York State's Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline received 8,584 calls, an increase of 18 percent from 2015. Outside of New York City, the highest call volumes, 14%, came from Erie County. While the number of intimate partner homicides increased 22% over 2015, efforts such as the "Shine the Light on Domestic Violence" campaign continues to make a difference in the battle.

Various events and activities are taking place throughout the month of October in an effort to maintain awareness and to show victims that they are not alone. "Silence is Violence" boxes stationed throughout the Batavia Campus will collect personal notes from any passerby to offer support and encouragement to victims. These messages of hope and reassurance will be shared during an awareness rally in the campus's cafeteria later in the month. Artistic exhibits and displays all over campus will speak to the issues surrounding Domestic Violence and "Everything you ever wanted to know about relationships but were afraid to ask" booths will be set up to facilitate discussions about healthy relationships.

On October 16, 2017, GCC students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in "Healing through Art," a collaborative activity in which participants utilize multi-medium in expressing their individual interpretation of strength. It will be displayed along with the Clothesline Project

"We hope, by sharing our awareness campaign plan and activities, other institutions, employers and organizations will be inspired to participate and hold these types of activities in their locations," says Burdick-Cummings.

Additional information on the "Shine the Light on Domestic Violence" campaign is available at http://opdv.ny.gov/public_awareness/campaigns/shinethelight/ and questions can be sent to opdvpurple@opdv.ny.gov anytime.

For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.