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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Purple light displays are illuminating the downtown areas throughout State College, Bellefonte, Millheim and Philipsburg this October, shining a light on Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Centre Safe volunteers and borough workers decorated the streets and buildings, showing they stand in solidarity with victims and survivors of domestic violence by paying tribute to them.

“These things are happening every single day in our community and we know it’s happening,” Centre Safe Director of Education and Outreach Sarah McPherson says. “The key to really stopping this violence from happening is a community approach, is everyone being aware of what violence looks like, of being supportive of survivors and victims and creating a community that really cares and comes together to lift these folks up.”

Organizers say their goal is to show there is support within the community for those who need it. In 2019, Centre Safe helped over 1,021 survivors of domestic violence, but the pandemic is raising concerns of victims experiencing isolation with their abusers.

McPherson continues, “There’s also the particular challenge right now of people being at home with their abusers, people being at home in unsafe situation and not able to get away to make a call to us, to seek help and that is a big concern of ours.”

The nonprofit says it’s more important than ever to highlight the issue, adding that domestic violence is a topic that’s frequently not talked about. They hope these displays can start the conversation.

The 24-hour hotline for Centre Safe is 877-234-5050.

You can find the displays in Bellefonte at the courthouse and High Street. Millheim is hanging purple lights at the gazebo at Fountain Park. The trees in front of the Philipsburg Borough Building are illuminated. Allen Street and the municipal building in State College are also decorated.

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