If you are driving around town this weekend and notice a number of buildings glowing purple, don't check your eyesight just yet.
October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. To highlight the occasion, Houston's Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse is partnering with Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program to implement the city's first Purple Light Nights.
The event is part of a larger program, initially envisioned by the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force in Washington state, dedicated to remembering and honoring victims of domestic abuse and raising public awareness to prevent future infractions.
Since the initiative's inception in 2007, dozens of cities around the United States and abroad have participated in the program by lighting up buildings around town. Now Houston will join in.
Beginning this Saturday, Hermann Square Park and City Hall will be brightly lit purple to anchor the event. Other sites around town will glow throughout the month, and Houstonians are encouraged to participate at home and at work by stringing up their own lights in support of the Purple Light Nights initiative.
Only a fraction of domestic violence instances are reported, but more than 41,506 were recorded in 2009 in Harris County alone. Houston ADVA "works to break this cycle by intervening with both the victim and the abuser." You can volunteer or donate to the cause on the ADVA website.