Each year, advocates, survivors and supporters recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).
This fall, Hopeful Horizons, a nonprofit based in Beaufort County, is joining the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) in their national campaign for DVAM.
The goal of this initiative is to start a national conversation about domestic violence and how we can all contribute to changing the narrative on this overshadowed, but fundamental topic, then build on that conversation to raise awareness, increase donations and volunteer efforts, and deepen community engagement by connecting our work nationwide.
More prevalent than most realize, one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socio-economic status, can become a victim of domestic violence. This year’s campaign theme, #Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence.
Locally, Hopeful Horizons, beginning Oct. 6, will display wedding gowns all month long to raise awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence in South Carolina. Each gown is adorned with the names of South Carolinians who were killed in domestic violence incidents last year.
The Wedding Gown Project can be seen at public library branches in Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton counties.
The wedding dresses bear witness to the fact that, while many individuals walk into marriage full of hope, domestic violence shatters that innocence.
“The number of women killed by men in South Carolina is staggering,” said Kristin Dubrowski, CEO of Hopeful Horizons. “However, those statistics are only part of the story. There are hundreds of people whose lives are impacted by domestic violence each day in South Carolina. Domestic Violence Awareness Month not only provides an opportunity to mourn those we’ve lost, but to also learn more about the issue, celebrate survivors and make a commitment to ending violence and abuse in our communities.”
Free and confidential help is available 24/7 for individuals experiencing domestic violence. Call Hopeful Horizons’ Support Line at 843-770-1070 or visit hopefulhorizons.org.
Hopeful Horizons is a children’s advocacy, domestic violence and rape crisis center that works to create safer communities by changing the culture of violence and offering a path to healing. The organization provides safety, hope and healing to survivors through evidence-based practices, outreach, prevention and education. Hopeful Horizons serves Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.