Take the Purple Pledge

From the outside, it seemed Jennifer had everything: A sweet family, a successful career, and a beautiful home.

But behind closed doors she was living a nightmare, in which the man who had vowed to love and cherish her did anything but.

“At certain points our marriage had gotten really tough, but we’d get through it,” Jennifer said. “That’s the cycle of domestic violence — the blowup, then the honeymoon. But that cycle started to get quicker.

“I didn’t want my marriage to fail,” she said. “What finally pushed me into saying ‘I’m done’ was when I was physically harmed. And after that, I could see all of the abuse that went before.”

Jennifer is one of an estimated 100,000 people in Wake County who have, or will, experience violence in their homes. She found help and hope at InterAct, Wake County’s only dual-service agency offering free, confidential services for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Need help? Call InterAct’s 24-hour domestic violence crisis line at (919) 828-7740 or toll-free at (866) 291-0855.

“Fundamentally, domestic violence is about power and control,” said Dr. Stephanie Francis, InterAct’s director of Volunteer & Intern Development. “Perpetrators use a number of different tactics to take and maintain that control: physical violence or the threat of, verbal or emotional abuse. When it starts it can be hard to identify. It can be subtle, but it escalates.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate. It crosses age, race, education level, socio-economic level. Anybody can be a victim, or a perpetrator,” she said.

Jennifer, now an eight-year survivor of domestic violence, has since remarried and her children are doing well. She’s also an InterAct volunteer and board member.

“I came from a loving home, went to college and grad school, have a good job. If it happened to me, it could happen to anyone,” she said. “It’s happening right here, to our neighbors, our co-workers and friends. As a community, we have to be willing to talk about it.

“Please know you’re not alone — there are people who care and want to help. Reach out and take that bold step to ask for help.”

The Purple Pledge

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, you can help raise awareness by taking part in Purple Thursday on Oct. 23, by wearing something purple to honor victims and support survivors of domestic violence.

Also, a Domestic Violence Information Fair will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Crabtree Valley Mall, first floor between Sears and Forever 21. The Wake County Domestic Violence Task Force will be on hand to educate the public about the various aspects of domestic and family violence and available resources in our community.

And if you have a cell phone you’re no longer using, donate it at any Verizon Wireless store — via the company’s HopeLine program, phones donated in North Carolina directly benefit the state’s domestic violence shelters on an ongoing basis.

For more information, see interactofwake.org.  

InterAct’s 24-hour domestic violence crisis line: (919) 828-7740 or toll-free at (866) 291-0855

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