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  • Writer's pictureWill Averill

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Highlights

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and The Willow hosted several events online to raise awareness of domestic violence in our community. Here's what we did:

Stronger Today 5K: A virtual 5K where supporters ran, walked, rolled, or strolled their way to 5K to support The Willow. This year we had 67 participants from 14 states. Participants got a Stronger Today 5K shirt and helped support domestic violence and human trafficking survivors in our community.

Proclamations: Each year, we attend Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson county commission meetings, as well as Lawrence and Ottawa city commission meetings, for the reading of Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamations. These proclamations highlight each community's continued commitment to recognizing the importance of domestic violence intervention and education. Domestic violence is a public health crisis, and by recognizing it formally, we can get more assistance and community involvement in what we do.

Tabling: The Willow was active with tabling throughout the month, appearing regularly at The Lawrence Public Library and The Merc Coop. In addition, we were present at the Women Supporting Women fundraiser, which benefitted The Willow.

A Conversation with Michelle De La Isla: As part of our Monday Meets FB Live series, we spoke with former Mayor of Topeka Michelle De La Isla, in a candid conversation that focused on her background as a survivor of domestic abuse, her work with the Topeka DV Task Force, and her thoughts on how lawmakers should approach domestic violence from a legislative perspective. The conversation is available here.

Survivor Art Show: To cap off our successful Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we closed with an online gallery of Survivor Art, created through our Shelter Art Program between 2021-2022. A conversation between Art Program Coordinator Ley Schneider, the Arts Center's Margaret Morris, and Director of Communications Will Averill highlighted elements of the work. You can find that conversation here.

So what did we accomplish? We raised over $10,000 for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, provided information for more than 1,250 members of our community, and attended 5 Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamations. For more information, check out our website at

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