Handbags of Hope party raises domestic violence awareness

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 9, 2013

 Scott Jackson, of Clinton Township, mans a booth outside of the Moose Lodge in Eastpointe where purple materials were being sold and given away for the anti-domestic violence organization Handbags of Hope’s event Oct. 16.

Scott Jackson, of Clinton Township, mans a booth outside of the Moose Lodge in Eastpointe where purple materials were being sold and given away for the anti-domestic violence organization Handbags of Hope’s event Oct. 16.

Photo by Kevin Bunch

Advertisement

EASTPOINTE — The anti-domestic violence organization Handbags of Hope held an awareness party Oct. 1 in a bid to gear up for the “paint the town purple” event it is running Oct. 16.

The party provided attendees the chance to pick up purple ribbons, car decorations and posters to help bring more visibility to the fact that October is domestic violence awareness month. Attendees could also connect with resources for victims and talk to survivors.

“We’re just trying to bring a voice to domestic violence, and hopefully it will start a conversation,” said Jackie Bobcean, Handbags of Hope staff member. Handbags of Hope donates handbags filled with necessities for women escaping domestic violence.

Purple materials and donations for handbags were not exclusively at the party, however.

“Handbags of Hope has a resale boutique where they are selling purple flags and other items,” Debbie Morrison, another staff member, said. It is located at 17363 Toper in Eastpointe, and it is open Wednesday through Friday.

On Oct. 16, the Lifestyle Café on Gratiot Avenue is going to be the epicenter of the “paint the town purple” campaign. Volunteers plan on lining up on Gratiot in purple and sporting purple glow sticks at about 6:30 p.m.

Bobcean said that while most people think of domestic violence as a purely physical affair, there are other kinds of abuse that are less visible.

“I think that too many times, when people think of domestic violence, their minds immediately go to a physical assault because that’s what makes the media,” Bobcean said.

“So that’s why our campaign is built around the verbal, financial and mental control,” she said.

Furthermore, Bobcean said that domestic violence is a major cause of lost wages, as victims are less inclined or unable to make it to work, which leads to lost wages or job loss.

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010, about 35 percent of women and 28 percent of men suffered physical violence, rape or stalking by a partner at some point in their lives, and 48 percent of all men and women experience psychological aggression by a partner in their lifetime.

“Men don’t talk about it,” Bobcean said. “There’s really that stigma among men.”

She said one problem faced by people suffering from abuse is perceived financial constraints. Bobcean said a local program, called SAFE, is set up to give victims financial help and training. There is also Sara’s House in Detroit, which donates goods to women living in shelters, she said.

Bobcean said people who are suffering from domestic violence, or think someone they know may be, should call the national domestic violence hotline to get information about local services and shelters. That number is (800) 799-7233.

For more information about the Handbags of Hope program, call Bobcean at (586) 215-2050.

Advertisement