Purple tents dotted the waterfront on a beautiful breezy October evening as the community gathered at Hopeline’s second “Peace on the Pasquotank” event. All attendees received information on the warning signs of a potentially abusive partner, and had the opportunity to add to a mural project commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Executive Director Courtney Cottrell spoke about the national theme for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 2021- “Everyone Knows Someone.” With one in four women and one in seven men experiencing severe intimate partner violence, these statistics demonstrate that we all know someone whose life has been impacted by these crimes. Cottrell called on all attendees to address the issue of domestic violence head-on and to recognize the role of the community in reducing these staggering statistics.
The Honorable Judge Janice Cole, a former Hopeline Board member, reflected on the agency’s 40 year history and shared statistics about how the pandemic has impacted domestic violence statistics not only in the United States, but across the globe. She also paid tribute to one of Hopeline’s “Founding Mothers,” Judy Abbott, who recently passed away, but whose legacy lives on through the work of the agency she helped to establish.
The event culminated in a flower ceremony at the riverfront, with blooms donated by Fuggles Flowers of Camden. “The flower ceremony symbolizes hope and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence. When we release the flowers into the river, we are sending a message of emotional release to survivor,” said Cottrell.
All attendees were reminded that if they or anyone in their lives is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, they should not hesitate to reach out for help. Albemarle Hopeline’s advocates are available 24 hours a day to assist in safety planning, provide information on services available, and connect victims to needed resources.