Purple-haired police hope to raise awareness

Published: Updated:
Photo via Pulaski Police Department

PULASKI, Va. – A couple of purple-haired police hope to get some attention that could help save domestic violence victims.

The Virginia officers are observing Domestic Violence Awareness month by dying their hair purple and challenging others to join them. The Pulaski Police Department acknowledges that that the change in hair color will not solve the issue of domestic violence.

“While we realize this will not end the issue, hopefully, it can make a difference in some lives simply by grabbing the attention of victims/witnesses and educating them on the many options they do have to remove themselves (and children) from dangerous situations,” a statement posted to Facebook reads.

Here are some harrowing statistics about domestic violence in the United States:

  • More than 10 million people, which is 20 people per minute, are physically abused by someone they know intimately, according to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  • Three women die every day because of domestic violence, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
  • The latest report from the United States Census Bureau shows that out of all recorded incidents of violence, 21 percent of victims were in domestic situations involving an intimate partner, immediate family member or other relative.
  • In Florida, an average of 3,349 victims receive domestic violence services that include emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy and peer support, according to a 2015 survey from the National Network to End Domestic Violence. But the 43 state programs reported that 21 of their service programs had been reduced or eliminated.

The federal government came to the defense of domestic violence victims with federal legislation more than two decades ago. The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 was a major win for the rights and federal protections of abuse victims and ushered further improvements, education and advocacy in the country.

To get free help with domestic violence, you have options throughout Southwest Florida:

  • Abuse Counseling & Treatment, Inc. 24-hour hotline
    • Lee County 239-939-3112
    • Henry and Glades counties 1-800-500-1119 (domestic violence) and 1-888-956-7273 (sexual assault)
    • Email: act@actabuse.com
  • The Shelter for Abused Women & Children
    • 24-hour Collier County crisis line 239-775-1101
  • The Center For Abuse & Rape Emergencies
    • Charlotte County 24-hour crisis hotline 941-627-6000 and 941-637-0404 (sexual assault)
    • Shelter 6868 San Casa Drive Englewood, FL 34224

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