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10.27.21

Observing Domestic Violence Month and Showcasing the Purple Scarf

By Jessica Green, Riverside Community Care Domestic Violence Services Intern

On Wednesday, October 27th, Riverside’s Domestic Violence Services team will gather along with many other organizations and members of the community to participate in the Cambridge Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil. The event commemorates National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Massachusetts residents who have lost their lives to domestic violence since last October.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, domestic violence has spiked worldwide, making these events even more important and relevant than ever. According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, police departments across the country have reported increases in domestic violence calls.

The vigil will feature a reading of the victims’ names, a musical interlude, brief remarks by Acting Police Commissioner Christine Elow, and a poetry reading. Local domestic violence prevention agencies will have resources for survivors and information for the community on how to recognize and talk about domestic violence.

As part of our participation at the vigil, Riverside’s staff will display our remarkable purple scarf.

About 15 years ago, an incredible survivor in The New Beginnings support group hosted by Riverside Community Care and Transition House had an idea …

“What would it be like to have a purple scarf — highlighting the tragedy of domestic violence and symbolizing the strength of survivors — wrap all the way around Cambridge City Hall? What if this project grew from city to city with city halls across Massachusetts garnished in purple?”

The Purple Scarf Project was born. Group members, who are all survivors, joined together to start the project and take a stand in educating their communities about the far-reaching impact of domestic violence. The first segment of scarf was only two feet long.  Today, volunteers from all over knit or crochet purple scarf segments and write a quote, poem, saying, or word related to domestic violence that is attached to the scarf.

The scarf has grown to be more than 300 feet long and can now reach all around the City Hall building in Cambridge!  We encourage you to come and see the Purple Scarf for yourself and join together to end domestic violence.

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