YWCA Greater Lafayette provided safe shelter to 407 victims of domestic violence and last year alone. But shelter is just the beginning.

YWCA Greater Lafayette opened its first residential shelter for victims of domestic violence in 1979. The “Women in Crisis” program was established to help “battered women.”  Four decades later, YWCA Greater Lafayette’s Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program is one of the most respected programs in the state and serves victims of domestic violence in six counties — Tippecanoe, Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Warren and White.

Nationally, YWCA is the single largest network of domestic violence shelters and services.

YWCA’s mission of empowering women and eliminating racism is achieved when our domestic violence advocates inspire survivors to believe in themselves, to acquire the education and job skills needed to find employment, to manage their own finances and to move with their children into safe, permanent housing.

Domestic violence is a real and persistent danger. Even here in the Greater Lafayette area. The Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program at the YWCA has been protecting and advocating for survivors of domestic violence, and their children, for almost four decades. The YWCA needs our help to support that important mission. Throughout the month of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness month, the YWCA is participating in a national initiative led by the All-State Foundation called the Purple Purse Challenge. Purple is the color of Domestic Violence. The Purse reminds us that 99% of  those who are abused also suffer financial abuse. This is the first year that our YWCA has been chosen to compete with organizations nation-wide for bonus money over and above its donations.

I’m one of 35  local leaders carrying a purple purse this month to remind you to go online and donate.