On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, equating to more than 10 million adults. If you have not been a victim, chances are you know someone who is.

Since 1981, October has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s a time to connect advocates, activists, legislators, communities, victims and survivors to end violence.

Thousands of organizations across the United States, including our own Someplace Safe office in Breckenridge, Minnesota, and Three Rivers Crisis Center in Wahpeton, North Dakota, work each day to help victims and families affected by domestic violence by helping secure the safety, services and resources needed to live healthier lives.

People in our community can get involved in ending violence by participating in one or more of these options:

• Support a victim or survivor. You can be there to listen or help a friend, family member or coworker who may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Share information about our local crisis centers or their local advocacy program.

• Get involved in a local event. On Monday, Oct. 14, Someplace Safe is holding a chili feed fundraiser at Breckenridge Senior Center. On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Zonta Club of Breckenridge-Wahpeton will hold their annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk to show support for victims and to raise money for both our crisis centers. As the current president of our local Zonta Club, I invite the public to walk with us from Greenquist Academy to Three Rivers Crisis Center to show survivors that we care about them and are working to put an end to violence.

• Join the Day of Purple on Oct. 24. Wear purple clothing as a way to honor and remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence while bringing hope to the survivors in our community. Some employers also may ask their employees to pledge a dollar or two for the privilege of wearing purple that day, and donate those funds to your local crisis center.

• Donate $1 a day. A contribution of $31 in October to your local crisis center can pay for approximately one hour of crime victim advocacy services, pay for a gift card for clients who need to travel to work, school or medical appointments, pay for a meal for a family staying in emergency housing, pay for approximately one hour of supervised parenting at a parenting time center, or purchase winter gear for a family in need at a thrift store.

Take a stand this month against domestic violence. Support our local crisis centers and those who have been victimized.

Carrie McDermott is managing editor of the Daily News

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