Forsyth Park Goes Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness

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Forsyth Park Fountain_60451

Every minute–20 people are physically abused by their spouse or partner in the United States–that’s the word from the CDC.

And if you’ve walked through Forsyth Park on Monday, you’ve probably noticed that the fountain is purple. It’s the colorful way Safe Shelter of Savannah is bringing the importance of Domestic Violence Awareness to the forefront.

“Lauren didn’t reach out for help and maybe if she had, maybe she would still be here today,” said Barry Brown.

Brown lost his daughter Lauren Smart to Domestic Violence in June 2014. He says it’s one of the hardest thing he’s ever had to deal with…

“She was 34-years-old, but she was still my baby girl,” Brown told News 3.

–But now says he’s dedicated to making sure other women don’t end up like his daughter.

It’s a cause the director of Safe Shelter of Savannah is also dedicated to.

She hopes to call attention to their initiative with the dying of the Forsyth Fountain…The color purple for Domestic Violence Awareness.

“Savannah as a community–beyond October–keep talking about Domestic Violence. Keep our voices out there, because victims need to know there’s somebody out there that cares, there’s somebody out there I can talk to,” said Cheryl Branch, the Executive Director of Safe Shelter, Center for Domestic Violence Services, in Savannah.

Because Branch says just being able to talk is the biggest step you can take….

“…Once you take that first step toward taking control back in your life–you stand a much better chance of getting out of the relationship in one piece,” said Branch.

A ‘Silent Witness’ exhibit was also created…representing 11 real people killed in an act of domestic violence here in Chatham County since 2011. The 12th silhouette represents the cases that go unsolved.

“…We never got a crisis call from any of them, they didn’t make 911 calls. It’s something that thrives in secrecy-and I’m hoping right now-somebody watching this is saying ‘I can do this’,” Branch said.

The fountain will remain purple for the next 3 days. The ‘Silent Witness’ exhibit is on display at City Hall right now on Tybee Island. It will also be moved, at a later date, to the American Legion Hall in Savannah.If you know someone that needs help, you can call:

The Safe Shelter 24-hour crisis hotline: (912)-629-8888

The Safe Shelter Outreach Hotline: (912)-651-0004

Or you can visit the Safe Shelter of Savannah Website: http://safeshelter.org/

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