Thursday, October 4, 2012

Turning pain into power

In just over two weeks, domestic violence awareness supporters will be painting downtown Willoughby purple in honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 
An event called Fifty Shades of Purple will be starting at 7 p.m., Oct. 19 at The Wild Goose and will include a Chinese auction, a meet-and-greet with the Cavs girls, a 50/50 raffle, a DJ and special-guest bartenders.
Wristbands will be available for $10 and can only be purchased at Wild Goose. These wristbands will qualify patrons for tickets for specials at participating bars. Guests are encouraged to wear purple.
Organizer Mallory Babika, a dating violence survivor, met recently with city officials to coordinate plans to drape downtown Willoughby in purple, including the gazebo.
"My event ... kind of took off!" she said.

Proceeds benefit Geauga County-based WomenSafe's mission to provide emergency shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence throughout Northeast Ohio.
For more on Fifty Shades of Purple, visit:
Another Lake County event marking Domestic Violence Awareness Month is Purple Light Nights, from 5 to 8 p.m. this Saturday at the Lake County Fairgrounds 4-H building. This Forbes House's event is free and will include speakers, a walk and activities with many agencies. The community will be asked to put purple lights in their windows during October in support of the cause.

For more on Mallory's story, via a video interview, and other area efforts against domestic violence, visit:

Her story reminded me of an oft-quoted Bible verse from the story of Joseph, who spoke the words to family members who had mistreated him severely: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Gen. 50:20)

We don't have to let our past dictate our future. Hats off to you, Mallory.

To get help, contact: Forbes House, 440-357-1018,; or WomenSafe, 888-285-5665,


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