Representatives from the Gulf Coast Center for Non-Violence tied purple ribbons to the sheriff’s office vehicles, recognizing the partnership between law enforcement and the center. Pictured from left are Stephanie Piper, Heather Alfonso, Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam, Marianne Schaffer, Hancock County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Investigator Mark Alison, Hannah Gilliard and Rene' Davis.
Representatives with the Gulf Coast Center for Non-Violence on Wednesday tied purple ribbons to vehicles at the Hancock County Sheriff's Office in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which begins Oct. 1.
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence's website, during the month of October, people are encouraged to wear purple and "use this as a way to tell others why ending domestic violence is important to you."
Oct. 20 is National #PurpleThursday, the website states.
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence's 11th annual census –– released in May 2017 –– 1,762 domestic violence programs participated and 72,959 adults and children received help from domestic violence programs. Of that number, 41,000 adults and children utilize emergency shelters or transitional housing. Hotline staff and volunteers answered 20,239 calls for help.
These numbers are based off a "24-hour count of services provided to adult and child victims, the NNEDV release states.
In Mississippi, 484 victims were served in one day and 78 hotline calls answered.
To view the census in its entirety, visit www.nnedv.org/resources/census.
The Gulf Coast Center for Non-Violence is a non-profit that services the six coastal counties: Hancock, Jackson, Harrison, Stone, George and Pearl River.
The center has two emergency shelters in Biloxi and Pascagoula and arranges transportation for victims.
In addition to providing victims with emergency shelter, the center also has a 24-hour crisis line where trained counselors provide services and can arrange safe transport to the shelters. All calls and information about victims is kept confidential.
The crisis line for the center is 1-800-800-1396 and counselors are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information about the center visit the website at www.gcwcfn.org.
For more information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, visit www.nnedv.org.