Advocates Against Family Violence

Purple Ribbon
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Ending Family Violence
One Family At A Time

Symbolism of the Purple Ribbon


What began close to three decades ago in scattered communities as a visible gesture of support for survivors and victims of family violence, today has become one of the most widely-recognized symbols of the battered women’s movement, the purple ribbon.


The exact history of the purple ribbon is difficult to pinpoint. Over the years, a number of sources have been credited with originating the use of purple ribbon as a unifying symbol of courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending family violence.


Across the country, families and friends of victims have adopted the purple ribbon to remember and honor their loved ones who have lost their lives at the hands of a person they once loved and trusted. Shelters and local battered women’s programs use the purple ribbon to raise awareness about the crime of domestic violence in their communities. The purple ribbon also has been recognized by state Legislatures in proclamations commemorating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


Purple ribbons are . . .


*   Made into pins and passed out at local events.

*   Embroidered on the t-shirts, hats, and bags of those passionate about ending the violence.

*   Hung on doors.

*   Wrapped around tress.

*   And draped over fences at murder scenes.


In addition to the demonstration of support for victims and advocates, the display of purple ribbons throughout a community conveys a powerful message that there’s no place for family violence in the homes, neighborhoods, workplaces or schools of its citizens.


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The White Ribbon Campaign
Men Working To End Men's Violence Against Women