Batesville, In. — October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” and community outreach coordinator Mary Mattingly reminds the public that every nine seconds an American woman is the victim of domestic violence. “We see it in southeast Indiana, right here in the picturesque and quiet rural communities which people often compare to Mayberry,” said Jane Yorn, Executive Director and founder of Safe Passage. “Yet Domestic Violence does not discriminate by location, age, income, education or race. Since we started Safe Passage in 1997, we have helped over 12,000 victims and their children of domestic violence. Unfortunately, the numbers continue to increase. “
Safe Passage, Inc. is the sole provider of services for domestic violence victims in Jefferson, Ripley, Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio and Switzerland Counties.
DV Awareness month kicked off Sept. 30 in Brookville, with a Handbags 4 Hope fundraiser for Safe Passage. Fifty new and gently used purses were auctioned, and over 100 guests heard a compelling personal story from a local domestic violence survivor. Mayor Mike Bettice signed a proclamation earlier this month announcing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Purple ribbons and banners have been placed in highly visible spots in the six counties, including downtown Batesville and at the intersection of SR 46 and SR 229. Also, SP staff will wear symbolic purple ribbons all month, and distribute to the social service agencies, schools, and organization, to remind them of the plight of these victims but also that there is nearby support to facilitate healing and independence.
On Oct. 26, domestic violence will be the focus of a community critical issues forum, sponsored by several organizations, at the YMCA in Batesville. Experts in the field, including law enforcement will address the impact it has on schools, businesses, health care and other factors in the community. The panel includes: Melissa Burton, Director of Student Learning at Batesville Community School Corp.; Kip Main, ISP Master Trooper Detective; Ashley Brittain, Human Resources Generalist at Batesville; Trish Hunter, Director of Innovation and Lean at Margaret Mary Health and who is also the Safe Passage Board President; and Liz Leising, Chief Nursing Officer at MMH. Registration starts at 11 am. with the complimentary luncheon beginning at 11:30 to 1 p.m. (Reservations are requested by calling the YMCA at 812-933-6006 by Oct. 24.)