10/25/2014

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Purple ribbons signify Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October

Purple ribbons signify Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October
LEWISTON, ID - Purple ribbons line the poles along Main Street in Lewiston, and the lapels of our jackets.

It's all to bring awareness to a national cause that affects many people in our region. The purple ribbons that line these streets, represent more than just a life left unhinged.

"The average is that a woman will leave her abuser, seven times," said YWCA Volunteer Coordinator, Whitney Lohman. "That's not somewhere else, that's happening here too."

The ribbons represent hope. Something the local Lewis-Clark YWCA does their best to promote during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"This is local," said Lohman. "This is not an issue that is happening outside of our area. This is very much happening in our hometown."

Every seven-and-a-half seconds a woman is battered in the United States. Rachel Ruckdashel was once part of that statistic.

"I had a very abusive boyfriend, and he was very controlling," said domestic violence survivor, Rachel Ruckdashel. "Besides the physical abuse he would not allow me to contact anyone, I was not allowed to get a job so I could have money."

Ruckdashel doesn't remember a lot of the abuse. But some of the memories are seared into her past.

"I was running a bath, running water," said Ruckdashel. "And he shoved me into the water and just held me there until I reached the plug."

In her north eastern Mississippi home town, there weren't any resources like the YWCA available to her. Now as a survivor, Ruckdashel volunteers her time at the local center to help victims of violence get the assistance she never got.

"Be aware," said Ruckdashel. "That it does happen and that it does happen to a lot of people. You can get help, you can get the resources and you are strong enough to get out."

There's a Domestic Violence Conference this Friday in Clarkston to kick-off the month of activities. Head over to our Facebook page to learn more about how you can get involved in October.
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