Purple ribbons in Uptown Lexington honor domestic violence victims

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Thirty-three purple ribbons around trees share messages and stories of victims killed by domestic violence.

Last month, Family Services of Davidson County used ribbons in Uptown Lexington to honor suicide prevention month and wanted to do the same for the month of October.

Twenty-three of the ribbons have victim’s names and their stories of those known to have died since 1995.

Danette Garner said that “there could be more” but those are the names reported and listed by North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Garner emphasized that Family Services of Davidson County was the fourth county to implement electronic filing for 50B Domestic Violence Protective Orders. Families needing those services are directed to work with associates to file the paperwork.

In 2017, approximately 653 50B’s were filed in Davidson County and the department served 156 domestic violence victims and their families. Those services include a wide range of options from counseling to shelter.

Karen Palma often refers victims to those services as the liaison between victims and the police department.

“To give them the resources that they need to stop the violence that may start as an argument but could escalate to something more dangerous,” Palma explained.

Palma’s role is fairly new to the police department thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Governor’s Crime Commission.

The funding covers Palma’s salary and the cost of research statistics through September 2019.

The Lexington Police Department also works with domestic violence offenders. Their accountability program has been in place since July 2014 monitoring more than 1,000 notified offenders and their vulnerable victims.

The program’s vision is to “hold domestic violence offenders accountable, reduce calls for service, minimize injuries and ultimately prevent homicide while breaking the cycle of violence. We strive for swift, certain and predictable consequences during the continuous course of conduct of a domestic violence incident.”

There are approximately 1,500 domestic calls for service made to the Lexington Police Department every year.

The 24/7 Domestic Violence Help Hotline for Davidson County is (336) 243-1934.