Alexandria, VA

Alexandria’s City Hall has been lit purple in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Day on October 22.

The city’s Domestic Violence Program is also promoting the regional #PowerUpNOVA campaign, which asks locals to “consider their power as individuals and part of a larger community devoted to reducing and eliminating domestic and intimate partner violence,” according to the city.

City Hall was also lit up at the end of August in recognition of International Opioid Awareness Day.

Last year, there was a candlelight vigil at Market Square to honor the 22 people in Alexandria who have lost their lives to acts of domestic violence since the mid-2000s. The annual event is hosted by the city’s Domestic Violence Intervention Project, and is being put off this year because of the pandemic.

The city’s Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program is open, and hotlines are available 24/7 at 703-684-7273 [Sexual Assault Hotline] or 703-746-4911 [Domestic Violence Hotline]. Online support is also available with The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and all next month, the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services will light up City Hall (301 King Street) purple in honor of domestic violence victims.

“It’s really beautiful to see,” said City Hall engineer Matt Wise. “We lit up City Hall in purple at the end of August through September 1 to raise awareness of substance use disorders, and next month we’re going to honor and raise awareness for domestic violence victims.”

Last year, there was a candlelight vigil at Market Square to honor the 22 people in Alexandria who have lost their lives to acts of domestic violence since the mid-2000s. The annual event is hosted by the city’s Domestic Violence Intervention Project, and is being put off this year because of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is having a dramatic effect on our daily lives,” states the city’s Domestic Violence Program. “During a crisis like this, the risk for intimate partner and domestic violence increases and may happen at higher rates. Survivors are also at an increased risk for violence and may need additional service.”

The city’s Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program is open, and hotlines are available 24/7 at 703-684-7273 [Sexual Assault Hotline] or 703-746-4911 [Domestic Violence Hotline]. Online support is also available with The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.

City Hall was previously lit up at the end of August in recognition of International Opioid Awareness Day.

To raise awareness and understanding of addiction prevention and treatment on International Overdose Awareness Day,…

Posted by Department of Community & Human Services, City of Alexandria, VA on Sunday, August 30, 2020

Photo via DCHS/Facebook

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A candlelight vigil and memorial service will be held outside of Market Square next week (301 King Street) to honor those who have died, or are still suffering from, acts of domestic violence.

The event, on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., is hosted by the City of Alexandria’s Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) to raise awareness of the issue and its prevalence in the city. City officials such as Mayor Justin Wilson and Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter will be present.

A visual memorial will depict 22 people in Alexandria who have lost their lives to acts of domestic violence since the mid-2000s. The vigil will begin with a private viewing for families affected by domestic violence, followed by a public program and reception.

“During the program, we will have a victim read a poem, and then light refreshments will be served,” said Barbara Sweeney, assistant residential coordinator for DVIP.

The vigil is being organized as part of Alexandria’s recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“On Thursday, Oct 24, City employees and the public are invited to wear or display purple to raise awareness about domestic violence,” the city’s website says. “Get involved, take a stand against domestic violence and express solidarity with survivors and their families.”

More from a press release:

The City of Alexandria’s Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) will host a Silent Witness Candlelight Vigil and Memorial program on October 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in Market Square (301 King St.). This public event is designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and create a space of healing through a visual memorial, which will include life-sized silhouettes of those in Alexandria who have lost their lives to acts of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive or coercive behavior such as physical assault, verbal abuse, or threat of harm that is used by an individual to exert power or control over another, particularly in the context of a family or intimate relationship. Acts of domestic abuse can be perpetrated by a current or former spouse or partner as well as a parent, stepparent or other relative, and can occur in relationships such as dating between people who do not live together and persons in same-sex relationships.

In 1990, the Silent Witness Initiative began promotion and education to support an end to domestic violence through community-based exhibits. It started with a small group of volunteers in one state and grew into an international presence, with projects in all 50 states and in 23 countries. DVIP participates in Silent Witness Alexandria as one of many activities during the national observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The event will include a private viewing for affected families affected by domestic violence, followed by a public program and reception.

To learn more about the Silent Witness Initiative, or for more information about domestic violence and the Alexandria Domestic Violence Project, visit alexandriava.gov/DomesticViolence. If you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, call 703.746.4911 to speak with someone about services offered. If someone is in immediate danger, always call or text 911.

Photo via City of Alexandria

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