Don’t Forget Purple

October is a colorful month for many reasons. One Red & Black staffer wants you to know why purple is so important this month.


Photo by Samantha Visco

Paint your ring finger purple this month to show support for Domestic Violence Awareness.

October is a favorite month for many-spooks and scares, the fall aesthetic, and attending Halloween parties dressed as some of your favorite characters. However, it is also an important month for awareness. While a lot of people are aware of Breast Cancer Awareness- as a lot of companies “turn pink” to capitalize on a poplar marketing trend. Some even donate a portion of their sales to cancer research; however, not many people know that it is also a month to wear purple to raise awareness for domestic violence.

Originating back in 1981 as part of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a “Day of Unity” soon turned into a week, and now a month to mourn those we have lost to DV, celebrate survivors, and work together to end this dangerous crime.

Affecting 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men (according to Safe Horizon), DV can affect anyone, even children who can unfortunately be witnesses to abuse. NCADV reports that each year, 1 in 15 children witness intimate partner violence, the effects of which include behavioral issues, PTSD, depression, and anxiety, just to name a few.

DV just doesn’t affect adults, either. DV is present in teenage relationships, as well. Facts pertaining to teens from National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges include:

  • 51% of teenage girls say pressure from a guy is a reason they send sexy messages or images, while 18% of teenage boys say pressure from a girl is a reason. 12% of teen girls who have sent sexually suggestive messages or images say they felt pressured.


  • More than 1 in 4 stalking victims reports that some form of cyberstalking was used against them, such as instant messaging (35%). Electronic monitoring of some kind is used to stalk 1 in 13 victims.


  • In 100 delinquent girls, 69% reported experiencing caregiver violence, 42% reported dating violence, 81% experienced sexual violence, and 90% witnessed violence.


  • 44% of youth who reported physical teen dating violence also reported a history of child maltreatment, with ⅔ witnessing an assault between family members.


  • 1 in 3 adolescent girls in the U.S. have experienced physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner-more than any other type of violence among youth.


  • While both adolescent boys and girls can experience DV in their relationships, 56% of boys reported not being hurt by it and laughing, while only 9% of girls reported not being hurt by it. 40% of girls reported crying at the violence, while 36% chose to fight back. (This report should in no way lessen the fact that boys and men can be affected just as severely as girls and women, however.)

Started by Safe Horizon, the #PutTheNailInIt campaign is a simple yet powerful way to show solidarity with victims of DV and to start a conversation about how to solve this problem. Men, women, and children can all paint their ring fingernails purple and use the hashtag #PutTheNailInIt to raise awareness during the month of October (as well as year-round). You can also help by donating to Safe Horizon to support programs and services for survivors of DV at

You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. You can also visit for more information.