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Papering The Community Purple

Soroptimists supoort battered women and girls

Members of Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams will join Soroptimists from around the world in showing solidarity with battered women and girls.

On Friday, Nov. 17, the White Salmon area Soroptimists will affix purple ribbons -- the color associated with domestic violence -- to the downtown lampposts. They will also distribute purple cards with information about domestic violence prevention to local gathering places and area businesses.

The International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women is scheduled for Nov. 25 but, because of the American celebration of Thanksgiving, the members of Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams will "paper the town purple" a week earlier.

Many women cannot escape domestic violence even when they go to work. It follows them in the form of harassing phone calls and email, or their abuser shows up at their place of business. Lateness, absenteeism, and lowered productivity in the workplace can result from domestic violence.

In addition to the terrible social effects of domestic abuse, the financial effects are staggering. Domestic violence costs countries million of dollars in health care, police and court costs, and lost productivity. Researchers in the U.S. have found that the economic losses arising as a result of domestic violence range from $10 billion to $67 billion per year.

According to the World Bank, one work day in every five lost by women is a result of health problems that stem from domestic violence. In the U.S., 96 percent of employed battered women experience problems at work due to domestic violence. There are 13,000 acts of violence against women at work each year by their partners. Homicide is the leading cause of on-the-job death for women, with some 20 percent of these women killed by their spouses or partners.

The distribution of the purple cards by Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams is a step toward creating an awareness of this very important issue.

Anyone interested in domestic violence support can call Programs for Peaceful Living at 493-1533 (White Salmon), 773-6100 (Goldendale), or (800) 352-5541 (hotline).

Programs for Peaceful Living is located at 130 E. Jewett in White Salmon and also accepts the donation of cell phones for use by their clients. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams was founded in 1977. In addition to participating in the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, the Mt. Adams club participates in Soroptimist International of the Americas' major service project, the Women's Opportunity Awards program -- cash grants for women seeking to improve their economic situation through additional training and/or education. Many of the applicants and recipients of these awards are domestic abuse survivors.

This fall Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams has been operating the food concession at Columbia High School. The profit is earmarked for community services such as the awarding of cash grants. Another long-standing fundraiser of the Mt. Adams club is the annual sale of holiday greenery.

The co-presidents of Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams are Lorrie Knowles and Kim Larsen. The club meets every first and third Wednesday of the month at 5:15 p.m. in the basement meeting room at Sterling Bank. All interested persons are welcome.

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