PITTSBURG — “Domestic violence has NO PLACE in our community.”

The Pittsburg community is taking a stand against domestic violence by raising awareness up and down Broadway. Safehouse Crisis Center Inc. is hosting the Purple Light Nights campaign in Pittsburg in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Purple Light Nights is a national campaign which started in Covington, Washington, in 2007

According to a release, “the color purple is recognized as the international color symbolic of domestic violence.”

On Sunday evening people will see a purple glow which will come from lights strung on 45 trees in Downtown Pittsburg. The lights will stay up for the duration of October.

Each tree lining Broadway was sponsored by local businesses, organization and families.

In addition to the lights on the trees, many of the business have purchased lights to decorate their store front.

While researching and brainstorming for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month SCC Prevention Education Specialist Ali Smith the Purple Light Nights came to mind.

She said there are many ways to be part of the campaign, for example in the state of Washington people raise awareness by replacing their white lights on their porch and installing purple light bulbs in its place.

Smith said it was her director’s bright idea to put lights on the trees which line Downtown Pittsburg.

Steps were then taken to find out who owned each tree and with the help of Parks and Recreation, City of Pittsburg, Downtown Advisory Board and volunteers everything will begin to shine on Sunday.

“They really loved the idea and accepted and supported it,” Smith said.

There will be a Purple Light Nights Kick-Off event at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the Spigarelli Law Firm 515 N. Broadway St. Pittsburg, Kansas. Smith said people can listen to advocate share a survivor's story and take a walk downtown.

Sponsors for the Purple Light Nights™ campaign include; Jim Bishop & Associates, Spigarelli Law Firm, Vogel Heating and Cooling, Celebrations by Lori, Jock’s Nitch Sports, Watco Companies/All Aboard Foundation, Eagle Beverage, Crawford County Mental Health, Labette Bank, NPC International, Pittsburg Interiors, The Family Resource Center, Gage Rogers and Morgan Ebbs, Greta Frank, Himmel House Bed and Breakfast, Catherine Lunday, Sugar Rush “Sweet Treats,” Art Forms Gallery, the Southeast Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force, Mazurek Law Office, The Pittsburg Police Department, Mother to Mother Ministries, Devsquared, Sweet Designs Cakery, Salon 9, CrossPoint Church, Riggs Chiropractic, Hardees, the Salvation Army, Toast, as well as anonymous donors.
The following community partners will be lighting up their storefront or windows purple for the month to promote the campaign: Celebrations by Lori, Jock’s Nitch Sports, The Family Resource Center, Himmel House Bed & Breakfast, Strawberry Moon, Mazurek Law Office, the Pittsburg Police Department and Students for Violence Prevention. The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts will turn their lights purple the week of October 10 - 16 and Block 22 will turn their lights purple October 1 - 5, 7 -14, and 21 - 31.

About Safehouse Crisis Center

From 2017 to this summer, Safehouse has served over 800 victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Clients received over 27,000 services including crisis intervention, safety planning, support groups, therapy, emergency shelter, housing assistance, public benefits, job counseling, information about crime and victimization, information about the criminal justice process, civil legal advocacy, court accompaniment, law enforcement interview accompaniment, forensic exam accompaniment and more. During that time, 210 victims and survivors utilized its emergency shelter.
Safehouse serves Crawford, Cherokee, Bourbon, Linn, Montgomery, Wilson and Labette counties.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.