Thursday November 07, 2013
As evident with several recent incidents in our area, domestic violence is a serious, widespread issue. It is a pattern of abusive behaviors in a relationship (i.e., physical, sexual, and/or emotional attacks) that affects all demographics. For victims of domestic abuse in Vermont, Women Helping Battered Women (WHBW) is the largest service provider.
Last year alone, the organization offered legal and economic justice services, housing, and children’s programs to more than 2000 victims.
In support of those who have suffered at the hands of a loved one, South Burlington High School committed to the prevention of this devastating crisis. Given that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), the aim was to educate teenagers about domestic violence and to spread the seeds of awareness. Hence, October 29, 2013 was Purple Ribbon Day at SBHS. The event was sponsored by the Coalition for Community Service (CCS) club and Women Helping Battered Women (WHBW). With further motivation to win a ribbon-making competition against Essex High School, organizers set a high goal of 2000 ribbons for one day. The awareness ribbons would immediately be donated to WHBW’s Candlelit Vigil, Survivor Speak Out, and Silent March, as well as future events.
Walking into the SBHS lobby on Tuesday, October 29, one could immediately see the purple Women Helping Battered Women banner hanging from the ceiling. To the table station at the left, swarms of purple-wearing students crafted ribbon pins galore. Meanwhile, volunteers tirelessly sacrificed hours of free periods and lunches to distribute ribbons to every homeroom or to man the ribbon-making station. At the finale of an invigorating - albeit hectic - day, afterschool helpers gazed at the ribbons gathered onto clothes hangers. Muttering under their breaths, they counted hangers of 100 ribbons each, hoping to achieve the 2,000 mark. Finally, they realized what the whole student body had created in a school day: 3,502 ribbons. SBHS was ecstatic to donate this number of purple awareness ribbons to WHBW!
The student organizers would like to extend a sincere thanks to all those who dedicated their time and effort to the now-annual Purple Ribbon Day. GO REBELS!
SOURCE: Vivian Huang ( 2016), SBHS Contributor