The ARK Domestic Violence Shelter (The ARK) is inviting the public to take part in this year’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (NDVAM). Each year October is set aside to honor the victims that have lost their lives to domestic violence, celebrate the progress survivors and advocates have made, and connect with our community to help end domestic violence.

The ARK will be participating in NDVAM with the Empty Shoes Display throughout all three counties that they serve, Brown, Comanche and Coleman. The displays will be at local schools, courthouses, medical facilities and public places and honors our local victims that have lost their lives to domestic violence. The display is a sobering reminder that domestic violence is happening here in our local area. Each pair of shoes represents a mother, sister, friend, or child that were murdered in a domestic violence situation. The ARK does this so that each victim is remembered and has their story told. 

From October 5th through October 9th, the display can be found at Brownwood, Coleman, Early, Brooksmith, and Bangs High Schools. The following week the display will be at Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Coleman County Medical Center, Comanche County Medical Center as well as the Heartland Mall in Early. October 19th-23rd, the display will be at Howard Payne University-Girling Center, Texas State Technical College, Ranger College in Comanche, and DeLeon High School. The last week of October the display will be at the Brown, Coleman, and Comanche County Courthouses, as well as Premier, Blanket, and May High Schools. 

On Tuesday, October 20th, 2015, The ARK will have their annual Candlelight Vigil in the Howard Payne University-Girling Center. A reading will take place of the names for the 2014 Texas victims as well as remembering the twelve victims from our tri-county area of Brown, Coleman, and Comanche. There will also be a guest speaker talking about Domestic Violence in our community and how we are responding to it. The Candlelight Vigil will end with the lighting of candles and a moment of silence to remember the victims. 

Each year over 100 victims in Texas alone are murdered by an intimate partner. 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. October is the month that we observe these issues and pledge to end domestic violence in our communities. This month is set aside to remind each of us what we can personally do to help stop the violence. 

The ARK along with local police, court officials, and community agencies work together to make our communities safer and to end the violence that is happening in too many homes. We are reaching out to the community and asking for help to end this epidemic of violence. For more information about our services or about National Domestic Violence Awareness Month please contact The ARK at 325-643-2699. You can also go online to www.arkshelter.org.