Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Public Awareness

Shine The Light On Domestic Violence!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we are counting on you to help turn the State purple! Below are ideas to get you started. During your activities, be sure to tell people why things are purple and give out the statewide hotline number: 1-800-942-6906. And don’t limit yourself to one month - many activities can be done all year long. Shining a light on domestic violence is the first step to safety and support for all.

How to Go Purple


Shine Purple Lights

You can light up a building, a bridge, a statue, a waterfall…often at little or no cost. (Here is more detail (HTML (Web page) on how it’s done.) Hang a poster (pdf) (HTML (Web page) or the “Shine the Light Brochure (pdf)” (HTML (Web page) to explain the meaning of the purple lights.
[Photo: Photo of a house illuminated purple.]

Wear Purple Photo of a group of people wearing purple.

Host a Domestic Violence Awareness Day, and encourage staff to wear purple clothing. Wear purple often during October, but especially on Wednesday, 10/21/15, the date we are suggesting that all New Yorkers wear purple.

Post a Web Banner Shine the Light on Domestic Violence Web banner

Update your website to include information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s free and easy to post a web banner, which links back to the OPDV website and helpful information. Please visit our website to download the banner today!

Create a Purple Space Photo of a tabletop display featuring purple items

Set up a display table in your lobby. Put out brochures, flyers, balloons and purple ribbons for staff. Host a raffle to benefit a domestic violence program. We have made all of our Shine the Light materials available on our website so you can download and use them as part of your own campaigns.

Hand Out Cards Image of a card featuring Shine the Light information

Print out wallet cards (pdf) (HTML (Web page) onto perforated paper from the office supply store. Ask businesses if you can put them on the counter. Carry some with you to hand out. You can customize the back for your organization!

Put Up a Poster Image of the top part of a poster for the Shine the Light campaign

Workplaces, schools, and facilities that are Shining the Light can display an 8-1/2”x11” poster to help people understand why things are purple.

Proclaim the Month Image of part of an official proclamation.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Ask your local government leader to do a proclamation in your town or city. Help organize a publicity event for local media to attend.  (See sample language from a previous NYS proclamation.)

Contact the Media

Write a letter to the editor. Include hotline numbers — local and State (800-942-6906).If you organize an event, send a press release to invite local media (see our sample press release for guidance).  Invite them to bring cameras! 

Pin a Purple Ribbon Photo of a purple awareness ribbon

Make and distribute purple ribbons. Get a roll of thin purple ribbon from a craft store. Cut into 3” strips, cutting ends on an angle. Loop the ribbon into shape and pin from behind using a straight pin.

Paint It Purple Photo of a storefront window with painted messages

Window paint for cars is available in purple! Use it on vehicles or storefronts (with permission :-). Be creative. Draw a purple ribbon. Share the hotline number: NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906.

Order a License Plate Image of the OPDV license plate.

Show your drive to end domestic violence! OPDV and the Department of Motor Vehicles offer a “Peace at Home” license plate . A portion of the proceeds will go to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Host a Book Club

Read and discuss a book from our suggested list (pdf) HTML (Web page). The first step to ending domestic violence is to bring it out of the darkness -- and talk about it.

Share It!
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo

Throughout October, post domestic violence statuses on our Facebook page and Twitter handle, @NYSOPDV. Include the hashtag ShineTheLight   

Be Creative!

Be creative! Some of the best ideas will come from within your organization. Encourage staff to think outside the box. Here are some creative purple approaches others have taken: cupcakes, car magnets, hair extensions, dog bandanas, Zumba®, scavenger hunt, fashion show, ice cream, electronic marquees, billboards, art classes, balloons, tree decorations, poetry slam. Take photos and send them to us! and/or post them on Instagram with #shinethelight. 

Ways to Help in New York State

There are other ways you can help victims of domestic violence during October and throughout the year — and spread the message that violence will not be tolerated. From donating a cell phone, to making donations of clothing and toiletries, to volunteering your time at domestic violence programs, there are ways to make a difference.