(L/R): Back row: Ashley Villella (SASD), Dawn Meyers (SASD), Mary Shepherd (Salvation Army), Brittny Olson (Embrace), Chief Dennis Stuart (Minong PD), Chief Dave Wilson (Shell Lake PD), Chief Deputy Mike Richter (WCSO), Chief Jerry Christman (Spooner PD). Front row: Nancy Bitney (SASD), Pastor Sue Odegard (Salem Lutheran Church), Joan Fischer (WCDHHS), Renee Luell (LFRC), Jessica Christianson (Embrace), Dawn Schliesmann (ICCA), Cara Murden (WCSO).

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.”  That equates to more than 10 million people experiencing physical abuse each year. Given the staggering numbers, it’s no surprise that “on a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.”  And it’s not just adults who are impacted, as research shows; “1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.”

In an effort to highlight these numbers and the devastating impacts of domestic violence, October has been observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month since 1987.  Though awareness efforts are diverse around the world, the goals remain the same: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence. 

The 2016 Wisconsin Homicide Report reveals that 73 individuals lost their lives to domestic violence in Wisconsin alone last year. In remembrance of the lives lost, Embrace will display 73 solar lights on the Schmitz’s Economart Lawn in Spooner. 

To show your support for the survivors among us, you can participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2017 by: 

  • Joining Law Enforcement and other community agencies in displaying a purple awareness ribbon on your vehicle.  The ribbons convey a powerful message that there is no place for domestic violence in the homes, neighborhoods, workplaces or schools of our community. These magnets can be picked up free of charge at the Embrace office.
  • Attending the Mending Broken Hearts Support Group, which focuses on healing from intergenerational trauma. This group will be held October 17th, 18th, and 19th at the beautiful Bannockburn property in Exeland, WI. Contact Embrace by October 13th to register for this free event.  Meals will be provided and transportation assistance is available.
  • Wearing purple on Thursday, October 19th, for the 12th annual observation of Purple Thursday.  Don’t have a purple shirt?  You can purchase one for $15 at the Embrace Office or by calling 715-635.5245.  All proceeds will directly benefit survivors of domestic violence. 
  • Making an appointment at the Polish Parlour in Shell Lake to get a manicure or pedicure with a purpose.  Choose one of their featured purple nail designs at standard nail pricing, with a suggested $3 donation to Embrace. 
  • For more information about the events above, please check out our Facebook page, look for posters around town, or call us!

If you or someone you know is being victimized, please know you are not alone.  Help is available.  Call 1-800-924-0556 or text 715-532-6976. 

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