DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Domestic Violence Awareness Month officially starts on Oct. 1 but after 18 months of pandemic conditions, which forced many people to stay inside their homes, the YWCA reports that domestic violence calls tripled this year.

If you’re driving through Montgomery or Preble counties you’re going to see giant purple ribbons with little notes attached that give resources to people who may need someone to talk to about domestic violence. The goal is to “Paint the Town Purple.”

“When you have people that are sheltering in place and isolated, abuse can increase,” said YWCA Director of Communication Audrey Starr. “We’ve seen calls to our crisis hotline triple in the past 18 months triple so we know that the immediate and urgent need for safety, security and shelter is only increasing.”

Purple ribbons are a symbol of hope and love, and possibly a victim of domestic violence’s last chance to get help from a problem that crosses all races, age groups and families. As the only domestic violence shelter servicing Montgomery and Preble Counties, their goal is to paint the town purple.

“What that means is that we put purple awareness ribbons including our hotline information on cards with those ribbons so people know what October is, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is and importantly they know how to support,” said Starr.

University of Dayton Students majoring in Criminal Justice say they’ve been teaming up with the YWCA of Dayton for their entire college career raising awareness for their own classmates.

“Especially being a female in criminal justice, I want to raise awareness of domestic violence and show that it does happen at a very young age and to anyone,” said Macy McQuinn.

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