In a season where people celebrate the fall colors of oranges and reds, members of Team Charlotte lit up the sidewalks in different hues of purple near the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
The group of employees was raising awareness for domestic violence prevention and empowering victims to get help.
Educating others about domestic violence
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the effects of domestic violence hit home in our area. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) responds to more than 35,000 domestic violence related calls for service each year. CMPD's domestic violence unit handles approximately 1,500 cases each year. In 2017, about 1 in 4 homicides were related to domestic violence.
The first step in preventing domestic violence is to educate. Before walking, employees listened to a presentation from Ron and Jan Kimble, founders of the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage. The presentation was kicked off by Mayor Vi Lyles.
You can watch the presentation below. Know the warning signs
Part of the event was also to educate employees about domestic violence and the warning signs. Sometimes someone might be in a relationship but not know that it is an abusive relationship since abuse can be emotional or psychological. Here are some warning signs you might be in a damaging relationship:
Treating you exceptionally well at the beginning of the relationship
Making you feel sorry for him or her
Never being at fault
Trying to control you through constant communication
Separating you from your family and friends physically or emotionally or causing chaos before or during family events
Being overly critical
Searching your belongings for evidence of cheating
Prying into private belongings to learn more of your inner most feelings or past
Accessing your e-mail, Facebook and phone records
Booking your calendar so it seems impossible to end the relationship
Systematically removing you from your existing friends with probable excuses and keeping you too busy to maintain them.
How you can help
This month, CMPD is teaming up with Safe Alliance to collect items for domestic violence victims during their annual Operation Sleep Safely drive. The Safe Alliance domestic violence shelter houses more than 100 victims and their children every night of the year. They are looking for things like new twin size sheet sets (white), new twin size blankets/comforters, bleach, new pillows and new white bath towels. There are collection boxes at CMPD headquarters, CMPD division offices, the CMGC and other City of Charlotte offices.
If you ever need help or know someone who does, you can call the domestic violence hotline at 800-799-7233
Thank you for standing up
To our employees who wore purple, participated in the walk and continue to educate about domestic violence, thank you.
Pictures from the walk are available on Flickr.