PADUCAH – In partnership with Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center, Mercy Health Lourdes Hospital will be shining purple lights on the Marshall Nemer Medical Office Building from Oct. 10-16 to mark October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month observance. The observance also strives to raise awareness of intimate partner violence which often takes place outside of the home. Domestic violence is classified as the intent of one partner to gain power and control over another.

The purple lights will shine along pink ones marking October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month observance.

“The importance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to create community awareness of this issue,” said Sharon Dicicco, a nurse practitioner with Mercy Health-Paducah Obstetrics and Gynecology. “The observance is more important than ever, especially as the number of people staying home due to COVID-19 has greatly increased the potential for abuse of all types inside and outside the home.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

• One in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence in their lifetime

• On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, which equates to more than 10 million women and men in one year

• There have been 477-gun related domestic violence fatalities so far this year

• In Kentucky, 45.3% of Kentucky women and 35.5% of Kentucky men report experiencing intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape and/or rape in their lifetimes

• Kentucky has the 11th highest femicide rate in the United States

According to the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, during the pandemic in 2020, domestic violence homicides were up by 75%.

“I hope the purple lights shining bright on the Mercy Health-Marshall Nemer Medical Office Building this month will remind all our coworkers and peers of the importance of striving for awareness and to ask the tough questions that can lead a patient to seeking help,” Dicicco said.

The Mercy Health-Paducah Obstetrics and Gynecology team will also be wearing domestic violence awareness T-shirts and bracelets to mark the observance.