“Domestic violence affects everyone,” noted The Retreat Executive Director Michele Pollock Rich. “It takes a coordinated effort by the community at large – law enforcement, advocates, community groups, schools – to combat domestic violence and declare that it will not be tolerated in our community.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and The Retreat, the East End’s only domestic violence services agency, has joined the statewide “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign to help to shine the light on domestic violence. New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) is spearheading the campaign, which aims to inspire public, private and non-profit organizations to raise awareness of the issue by embracing the color purple. The movement encourages the community to shine the symbolic shade for domestic violence awareness on community structures and buildings and, also for supporters to wear the hue throughout the month or sponsor awareness events.
The Retreat and OPDV are holding several awareness events during October. In Suffolk County, the H. Lee Dennison Building will be lit in purple and the 24th Annual Commemoration Day will be held on Thursday, October 9th at the Legislative Building in Hauppauge to remember victims and honor survivors. On Wednesday, October 15th, New Yorkers are being asked to join the campaign by wearing purple to help start the conversation about domestic violence and dating abuse as well as raise awareness for the issue.
Nationally, many major domestic violence and sexual assault organizations in the US have joined the NO MORE movement whose motto is “Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.” Actress and advocate, Mariska Hargitay directed the NO MORE PSA Campaign, which features over 50 celebrities and notable names asking bystanders to get involved and help put a stop to domestic violence.
The Retreat’s mission is to provide safety, shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse and to break the cycle of family violence. The East End organization provides a 24-hour domestic violence crisis hotline, residential shelter for women and children, group and individual counseling, legal advocacy, prevention education and programs for at-risk men. “The Retreat is committed to providing domestic violence victims with the highest quality of comprehensive care,” expressed Pollock Rich. All services are confidential, free of charge and offered in both English and Spanish.
For more information, call 631-329-4398 or visit www.theretreatinc.org.