Demonstrating support for victims and families impacted by domestic violence, First Lady Mary Pat Christie has announced that Drumthwacket, the Governor’s official residence, will be lit in purple on Thursday October 23rd to recognize Purple Thursday. Initiated by the New Jersey Coalition of Battered Women (NJCBW), Purple Thursday encourages New Jerseyans to wear purple to shine a light on the issue of domestic violence by supporting its survivors while promoting awareness and prevention.
“Domestic violence impacts everyone–individuals, families and communities,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie. “That’s why it’s important to educate and empower victims, survivors and their families by providing the support necessary to help them heal and rebuild their lives for a future without violence and abuse. I encourage everyone to join the cause and wear purple this Thursday.”
Residents can share photos using #njgoespurple and post photos at https://www.facebook.com/njcbw.
Domestic violence affects more than four million Americans every year. In fact, one in every four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime and more than 3 million children are impacted annually. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
In New Jersey, there were 65,060 domestic violence offenses reported by the police in 2012, a 7 percent decrease compared to the 70,311 reported in 2011, according to the most recent Domestic Violence Offense Report prepared by the New Jersey State Police. Additionally, assaults accounted for 42 percent (27,602) and harassment accounted for 43 percent (28,285) of the reported offenses in 2012. The most frequent day of domestic violence occurrences was Sunday (11,639).
While domestic violence is considered to be a chronically under-reported crime, there are tools that people in New Jersey can use to take action.
New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families has in place an array of programs that provide shelter, a phone hotline, emergency response as well as information and referral, counseling and children's advocacy services. The Statewide Domestic Hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve domestic violence victims and provides information about domestic violence. The Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-SAFE (7233).
In addition, the New Jersey Coalition of Battered Women has launched a new webpage www.NJDVgethelp.org to help victims of domestic abuse access the assistance they need as quickly and easily as possible including a tool to find local shelters and other resources statewide. All elements are optimized for effective display on smartphones and other mobile devices.