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Purple Lights Shine at Renton City Hall to Mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 3, 2008

For more information contact:

Karen Bergsvich, Human Services Manager, Community Services Department, 425-430-6652
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-430-6569

RENTON- To remember the 452 homicide victims of domestic violence in Washington State, and to promote public awareness and understanding of domestic violence, the City of Renton will proclaim the month of October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The color purple has been recognized as the international color symbolizing domestic violence, and a tree will be lit with purple lights outside Renton City Hall.

“Helping to build better public awareness and understanding about the terrible toll of domestic violence is an important step toward reducing it,” said Mayor Denis Law.  “Declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and lighting our tree with purple lights are more than merely symbolic actions to remember the victims. It is a way to keep our community focused on a very real problem and on the need to prevent domestic violence and make our homes a safer place.”

Domestic violence is a serious, widespread social problem in our region. In Washington State there were over 48,000 domestic violence offenses in 2007. From 1997 to 2007, nearly 452 people were killed by domestic violence abusers in Washington State. In Renton, there were 1,983 calls to 911 for domestic violence in 2007, and 458 domestic violence cases were brought to Renton municipal court.

"Domestic violence is still behind closed doors," said Karen Bergsvik, Human Services Manager. "We want people to start talking about it. We want to bring domestic violence more out into the community and let people know there are services in Renton to help them."

Mayor Denis Law will formerly issue the proclamation on Monday, October 6, 2008, during the Renton City Council meeting.  One of the goals of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to encourage people to take an active role in supporting victims of domestic violence and to help them lead healthy lives, safe from violent and abusive behavior.

Renton’s domestic violence task force meets on the second Friday of every month from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. at Renton City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.  For more information call 425-430-6652.