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Hawkins Hall to Be Lit Purple in Observance of Domestic Violence Month

Purple lights will illuminate Hawkins Hall the week of Sunday, Oct. 14, as part of an effort to commemorate the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence’s “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign.

STOP Domestic Violence and Behavioral Health Services North Inc. of Plattsburgh have been organizing events to raise awareness of domestic violence in the North Country for more than 10 years.

“Shining the light on domestic violence is one way that the community can see that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed,” said Susan Kelley, program director of STOP Domestic Violence and BHSN.

BHSN is collaborating with SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, campus co-sponsor of this initiative, in hosting various events for the “Shine the Light” campaign.

“Although this is the first year that purple lights will shine on Hawkins Hall, both students and staff have participated in many efforts and events during the last three decades,” Kelley said. “This is another way to strengthen our campus-community connections. Intimate partner violence isn’t just on campus or just in the community.”

Dr. Simona Sharoni, chair of the gender and women’s studies department, agreed. “We cannot respond to this problem by simply focusing on providing support to survivors and holding perpetrators accountable. We must change the culture that gives some people a sense that violence against women and children is acceptable.”

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Social Work and STOP Domestic Violence will also welcome a guest speaker who will speak at a forum open to the community.

J. Garland Waller, who produced the documentary "No Way Out But One" about the life and custody issues of domestic violence survivor Holly Collins and her family, will share her perspective on domestic violence and answer questions from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Room 208, Yokum Lecture Hall.

“We hope that members of our community, students, faculty and staff, will use the campaign to jump-start a comprehensive program to make the campus safer for everyone,” Sharoni said.

Landmarks such as Times Square have been participating in the campaign, also known as “Turn the State Purple,” for years. Along with Hawkins Hall, additional SUNY buildings and SUNY Plaza in Albany will be lit purple this year.

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