There are at least 51 reasons to attend a vigil Oct. 23 in support of Domestic Violence Awareness month.
That's the number of lives domestic violence has claimed in Colorado last year, according to Project Safeguard.
"I think any time you can create awareness is a benefit," said Pat Tessmer, director of Advocates-Crisis Support Services. The organization provides assistance for victims of domestic violence. This month is slated as national domestic violence awareness month. Advocates is planning a vigil to honor the victims of domestic violence at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 on the stairway of the Moffat County Courthouse. People are encouraged to wear purple, a color that signifies support of the victims, Tessmer said.
"It's really wonderful when people come out," she said. "The more that we can get the word out that it's not OK to be an abuser, the more awareness it brings."
Advocates has helped 309 victims of domestic violence this year through Oct. 1. Tessmer said it's difficult to determine whether the numbers are high because more people are becoming more aware of the services or because of heightened rates of abuse.
Patterns of high rates of domestic violence don't seem to follow trends, she said.
A couple of years ago, Super Bowl weekend often prompted an increase of calls to Advocates. That's no longer the case, Tessmer said. However, Advocates received a high volume of calls during the months of August, September and February.
"People blame drug use or alcohol use for domestic violence but the main cause is people who need to have control over someone else," Tessmer said.