Violence Awareness Month begins with tree lighting ceremony Oct. 6

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Remember victims, support survivors and instill hope in those still living with abuse at Purple Light Nights, the Violence Awareness Month Kickoff event at Georgia Regents University on Oct. 6.

Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. will speak, along with abuse survivor Valerie L. Williams, author of “God’s Divine Intervention,” at the annual tree lighting ceremony, from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday at the “teardrop” area adjacent to the D. Douglas Barnard, Jr. Amphitheatre on the Summerville campus of GRU, 2500 Walton Way.

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“We have survivors speaking at both our kickoff and culminating event,” said Dr. Allison J. Foley, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work. “Our guest for the kickoff survived her spouse’s attempt to kill her, and she’s written a book about it and her recovery.”

Participants are encouraged to wear purple, the color that has become symbolic for this issue. Information on National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the university’s month-long anti-violence programming will be available. Click here for a full schedule of events, including an interactive display of art and a panel offering advice on leaving abusive relationships. For the first time, the “Safe Exits: The Process of Leaving an Abusive Relationship” event will be offered both at GRU and the Maxwell Branch Library.

“We think the content of it — how to safely exit an abusive relationship — is so important for everyone to know, not just students here,” Foley said.

The month culminates with the SafeHomes Survivor’s Walk from 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 29 on the Summerville campus of GRU. This annual ceremony features testimonies from domestic violence survivors and a balloon release and candlelight walk.

Events are sponsored by the GRU Violence Awareness Month Committee in partnership with SafeHomes of Augusta, Inc., Paine College and students in Foley’s Gender and Victimization course. See for more information.

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Kelly Jasper

Kelly Jasper is Digital Content Manager at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-4706 or

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Written by Kelly Jasper

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