Bright Horizons in collaboration with the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition (NDVSAC) hope to use National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October) to raise awareness about the current epidemic of domestic violence in our communities. As a state, we also want to encourage people “Take a Stand; Let your Voice Be Heard! Step Up Speak Out!”
In the month of October, Bright Horizons will be celebrating their 35th anniversary! We are hosting a staged reading titled “In My Daughters Name.” This play takes a very personal look at domestic violence. Amanda Thomas, the daughter referred to in the title, was 27 years old when she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend and the father of one of her children. The play bears witness to the circumstances and complications leading up to Amanda’s death in 2009.
The performance will be at the O’Neill High School Gymnasium in O’Neill on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. and at the Life Long Learning Center at Northeast Community College in Norfolk on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. In addition to this moving performance, Bright Horizons will be displaying the Clothesline Project and the Silent Witness Display in several locations in our service area.
The Clothesline Project is a program that was started on Cape Cod, MA, in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. The shirts are hung on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. Bright Horizons Clothesline Project is shirts decorated by survivors of our service area. This display will be at the following locations: Pierce Public Library, Northeast Community College, Norfolk Public Library, Stanton Public Library, Tilden Hospital, Faith Regional Health Services, Tyson, Madison Public Library, West Holt Hospital, Spencer Community Center, Neligh Library, and the Holt County Court House.
The Silent Witnesses are free-standing, life-size red wooden silhouettes of women whose lives ended violently at the hands of a husband, ex-husband, partner, or acquaintance. Each Witness has a shield that tells their name and some information about how they died. The display honors women who were born and raised in our service area or who have lost their lives in one of the counties that we serve. The witnesses will be put up throughout area churches and hospitals during October.
For additional information please contact Jen Arens at 402-379-2026 in Norfolk or Amanda Wallace at 402-336-1774 in O’Neill or visit our website at www.brighthorizonsne.org.
Bright Horizons is dedicated to the elimination of domestic violence and sexual assault through empowerment, education, social action and support services. We provide free and confidential services including individual advocacy, support group, shelter services, community education, criminal justice and legal advocacy and a 24-hour crisis line to Antelope, Boyd, Holt, Knox, Madison, Pierce, and Stanton Counties.
About Step-Up and Speak-Out (Nebraska’s Prevention Campaign)
Step Up. Speak Out. is a statewide education campaign, made possible through a grant from the Department of Justice-Office of Violence Against Women. It was designed to challenge how the young men and women of Nebraska think about gender and dating violence and to recognize that it’s everywhere – movies, music, music videos, advertising, video games and television. The campaign is focused on preventing young people from confusing violence against women with entertainment, and to step up and do something when the witness or experience these activities. This ongoing project is supported by Grant No. 2002-WR-BX-0004 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. For more information visit: www.StepUpSpeakOut.com.
Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition
The Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition is a statewide membership network of domestic violence and sexual assault programs, individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children. The primary purpose of the Coalition is to ensure that adequate emergency services are available to women and children needing safe shelter, support and assistance.
The Coalition also serves as a statewide resource and training center, and works to increase public awareness and understanding about domestic violence and sexual assault. For more information visit: www.ndvsac.org.