A jigsaw puzzle is the thematic image behind this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month that runs throughout October.
The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) launched its Peace by Piece campaign on Sept. 29. The image of the puzzle is to remind people that each puzzle piece is important and part of the whole picture.
“Every survivor’s situation is unique,” Sara Barber, executive director of SCCADVASA, said in a statement. “As advocates, we recognize that survivors need various types of support in order to find safety. While the definition of peace may differ between survivors, we know that true safety and healing can be achieved by working together – putting support pieces in place to address the complex needs of victims and working to prevent the root causes of violence.”
Both domestic violence and intimate partner violence have myriad manifestations that range from physical to emotional abuse. It can involve financial entanglement and the abuse of substances.
“Its victims and survivors come from every part of the community – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and economic status,” said SCCADVASA spokesperson Megan Finnern.
In the recent study “When Men Murder Women,” South Carolina was number 11 in the United States. It’s the first time the Palmetto State avoided the top 10 in 23 years, according to SCCADVASA. South Carolina topped the study in 2015, 2013, 2003 and 2000.
SCCADVASA noted COVID-19 has created a challenge in resources for victims of domestic violence and has created more dangerous situations in the home due to isolation, stress and financial uncertainty.
Throughout the month, SCCADVASA’s 22 member organizations — which include Upstate organizations the Julie Valentine Center, the Safe Homes Rape Crisis Coalition in Spartanburg, the Pickens County Advocacy Center and Safe Harbor — will be sharing information and awareness of domestic violence.
To learn more about SCCADVASA and its Peace by Piece campaign, visit sccadvasa.org.