What began close to two decades ago in scattered communities as a visible gesture of support for survivors and victims of domestic violence, today has become on of the most widely recognized symbols for the battered women’s movement-the purple ribbon.
The exact history of the purple ribbon is somewhat difficult to pinpoint. Over the years, a number of sources have been credited with originating the use of purple ribbon as a unifying symbol of courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending domestic violence.
Across the country, families and friends of victims have adopted the purple ribbon to remember and honor their loved ones who have lost their lives at the hands of a person they once loved and trusted. Shelters and local battered women’s programs use the purple ribbon to raise awareness about the crime of domestic violence in their communities. The purple ribbon also has been recognized by state Legislatures in proclamations commemorating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Purple ribbons are made into pins and passed out at local events…they’re embroidered on the t-shirts, hats and bags of those passionate about ending the violence…they’re tied to the antennae of police cars…they’re hung on door, wrapped around trees, draped over fences at murder scenes.
In addition to the demonstration of support for victims and advocates, the display of purple ribbons throughout a community conveys a powerful message that there’s no place for domestic violence in the homes, neighborhoods, workplaces or schools of its citizens.