Share a photo of your favorite purse to raise awareness of domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

YWCA Dayton plans to raise awareness with the #PassThePurseDYT campaign during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

For the fifth year in a row, YWCA Dayton will see how much funds, volunteerism, YWish List items, and awareness the Dayton community can raise in support of YWCA’s shelters and hotline.

Pass the Purse Dayton began as a campaign to highlight financial abuse — the number one reason women aren’t able to leave abusive relationships, according to a release.

Here’s how to help this year:

Find a favorite bag and take a photo or video of it and tag three friends and then share the bag’s story on social media with a reminder that for survivors of domestic violence, one bag is often all they have.

Two out of three clients who arrive at YWCA Dayton’s domestic violence shelters do so without any identifying information, and most clients come with limited clothing and no hygiene items.

Those that have belongings are typically using garbage or grocery bags to transport them.

YWCA Dayton also has additional events planned during October.

Oct. 10 | Teen Dating Violence Awareness Workshop Noon-1:30 p.m. | Virtual via Zoom

Join YWCA Dayton’s Girls LEAD! program for a special edition of their regular Girls Squad virtual meetup. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, and girls and young women experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average, according to Love Is Respect.

In honor of both International Day of the Girl and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re hosting a workshop on teen dating violence, led by YW’s sexual assault program educator, Megan Garrison. Free and open to all girls ages 11-14 in Montgomery and Preble counties; parents welcome and encouraged to attend with their child. RSVP to girlslead@ywcadayton.org.

Oct. 31 | Purple Paws: Preble Pets Against Domestic Violence 1-2 p.m. | Virtual via Zoom

About 85% of U.S. domestic violence shelters report that they commonly encounter survivors who speak of pet abuse incidents, but only 10% of shelters are able to also shelter pets, according to RedRover. Thanks to partnerships with local animal shelters and veterinarians, YWCA provides concurrent pet shelter for clients entering our domestic violence shelters. Join YWCA Dayton’s Preble County Office for a (virtual!) afternoon of family-friendly fun with fur-riends, presented by Parker Hannifin. Show off your pet for this fifth annual signature fundraiser benefiting Preble County’s only domestic violence shelter and 24/7 crisis hotline.

This year, the Pet Showcase will move to an online, interactive format. Vote all month long and then get ready to celebrate via Zoom on Oct. 31. Awards will be presented for: Best Pose, Most Creative, Most “Not Dog,” “Twinning” (pet and owner lookalikes), and Best In Show. Online photo contest: $10 per pet to enter; $1 = 1 vote. Voting open from Oct. 1-28. Live Zoom event is free (visit www.ywcadayton.org/purplepaws) and will feature pet performances, virtual activities, family crafts you can download from home, and more. Hosted by comedian and Dayton native Beth Stelling, the 2019 Marsha Froelich Survivor Award recipient and creator of #ifanimalshadgoogle.

Oct. 1-31 | Paint the Town Purple Various locations

The public can help Paint the Town Purple. Bridges and buildings in downtown Dayton will light the night purple; community partners and schools in Preble County will recognize Oct. 1 as Paint Preble Purple Day; and more than 400 purple ribbons were installed on lampposts throughout downtown Dayton by a team of more than 30 (socially-distanced) student volunteers from DECA High School, all to raise awareness and show survivors they are not alone.

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