what do they represent? The individuals who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. Those who are abused on a daily basis. The children who are the secondary victims of domestic violence. Victims of date rape and dating violence. Individuals who are bullied.
Passionate students from Somerset County High Schools have collaborated to create a Purple Laces pledge walk on June 1, 2014 at Bridgewater-Raritan High School to help raise awareness around domestic violence, dating violence and bullying while providing funds for the Resource Center of Somerset. Ridge High School, Hillsborough High School, Somerset County Vocational & Technical School, Somerville High School and Watchung Hills Regional High School students are organizing the walk and raising their voices to stop the indignities that victims suffer every day. The funds raised through the walk will support the Resource Center of Somerset a non-profit organization that provides services to domestic violence victims including a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal advocacy, individual and group counseling, case management, child services, domestic violence response teams, community outreach and education.
Why do the students want to raise awareness and funds to help the Resource Center of Somerset? Domestic violence is one of the most pervasive and dangerous problems in society today, especially for women. One in four women will experience abuse in a relationship in her lifetime. Many people believe that domestic violence only happens in poor, less affluent communities, this is a false notion. Domestic violence transcends race, class, religions and socioeconomic borders, it can happen to anyone. It can be inflicted in many ways: physically, verbally, emotionally, financially and sexually with children being the secondary victims.
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year and that one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
The students are asking for the support of the entire Somerset County community. You can start a team, walk as an individual or you can make a pledge on line at the Resource Center of Somerset website. The greater the number of people who join the walk or support the cause, the more the Resource Center of Somerset can do to help protect victims by providing education and resources.
The event will take place on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at Bridgewater-Raritan High School. Check-in and registration for the walk will start at 8:30 am followed by the program and walk at 9:00 am. All registrants will receive free purple laces, refreshments and enjoy the program and entertainment.