Events to raise domestic violence awareness

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, slyles@newsandpress.net

With the public debate over sexual assault saturating national news coverage, the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault hopes we are in a teachable moment, and they have several October events planned for Domestic Violence Awareness month.

“We’ve got a lot of things going on this month,” says Kioca Reed, coalition volunteer coordinator for Darlington County. “For starters, we have the Domestic Violence Walk coming up on Oct. 20. That will be right here in Darlington on the Public Square, and it should begin around 9 that morning.”

Reed says the walk event will feature live music from individuals and churches, provide useful information from community service organizations, and allow guests to hear survivors’ stories and share their own experiences in a supportive environment.
“We have asked some survivors to share their stories so people can see how they blossomed and were able to overcome,” says Reed.

Pee Dee Coalition also plans to stage a volunteer fair on Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Reed says this will be a perfect opportunity for potential volunteers to learn how they can help.

“It’s geared toward high school and college students and community members who are interested in volunteering, but they don’t actually know where to go, or are having a hard time figuring out placement or finding something they feel a passion for,” says Reed. “There is a huge disconnect between service providers and members of the community, and I’m hoping that this event kind of lifts the veil.”

She says that the fair will feature many vendors and provide information on many routes to service. Representatives from the Durant Children’s Center, Guardian Ad Litem, Darlington County First Steps, Hartsville Police Department, the Darlington County Humane Society and Pee Dee Coalition will be on hand to answer questions and give guidance.

A location for the volunteer fair will be announced as soon as arrangements are finalized.

Also, the Sunday’s Undies program is seeking donations of undergarments, toiletries, robes, slippers, and similar items that women and children often leave behind when fleeing a domestic violence situation. Donations are welcome until the second week of December, and all items will be distributed to the Coalition’s Women and Children Shelters.

You can leave donations with the Pee Dee Coalition’s Darlington office at 105 Orange St. or the Hartsville office at 460 West Carolina Avenue.

To learn about volunteering with the Pee Dee Coalition, call 843-669-4600. For more information about services and events, visit them online at peedeecoalition.org.

Author: Rachel Howell

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