We All Must Shine Our Light – A Look at Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2019

October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence will affect one out of every three women at some point in their lifetime. 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) has been around for some time,the first DVAM was declared by congress in 1987. Here in Outagamie and Calumet County the purposes of declaring/gathering then are the same (and as important) as they are today;

  1. to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence
  2. to celebrate those who have survived
  3. to connect those who are working to end it

Since 1990, over 20 women from Outagamie and Calumet county have lost their lives, thousands have come to Harbor House seeking support and safety, and thousands more are still living in silence.  

“Many times survivors live in isolation. They may not even know that the services are available to them. They may think that they’re the only ones, so we want to break that isolation by showing them that the community is wrapping their arms around them,” explained Executive Director, Beth Schnorr.

It is time to come together as a community to address this issue – there are still so many impacted by domestic violence: survivors, their children, their families and friends, our community as a whole.

We must all work together to make it safe for all survivors to have their voice. It takes all of us to shine our light to erase the darkness of domestic violence. Throughout the month of October, we hosted a number of events that invited the community (and beyond) to join us in support survivors and to spread awareness of domestic violence. Let’s take a look at our three biggest events from the month! 

Calumet County’s Candlelight Vigil 

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, we hosted our annual Calumet County Candlelight vigil at Ascension Calumet Hospital in Chilton. This event is all about taking the time to honor and remember individuals who have lost their lives or have had their lives dramatically impacted by domestic violence. Organized through its Calumet County Outreach Program, Harbor House’s Candlelight Vigil provides the community an opportunity to come together to create awareness of domestic violence.

This year’s’ event included a survivors speaker, who shared her story and the impact that our Calumet County Outreach Program had on her life, word shared by different Calumet County law enforcement agencies, an invocation/benediction, a interactive activity called, “I Am You”, which encouraged guests to leave a message of hope for survivors and a candle-lighting ceremony to honor and remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence.

Thank you to Ascension Calumet Hospital for hosting us this year and thank you to everyone that came to the event to show your support!

Purple Porch Project 

During the entire month of October, we hosted our second annual Purple Porch Project awareness campaign. The Purple Porch Project is a simple ask to the community to switch out their porch light(s) with purple bulbs and/or add purple outdoor lights (floodlights, string lights, etc.) to their homes.

By participating in the Purple Porch Project, you are showing you…

  • Care about the issue of domestic violence
  • Want to spread awareness of the programs and services available locally for individuals experiencing domestic violence.
  • Support survivors of domestic violence


This year thanks to Guardian Life Insurance, Kimberly Clark and Ascension Calumet Hospital we were able to purchase 1,000 purple string lights and 500-yard signs to hand out to the community! Purple lights and yard signs popped up all over the Valley and we feel beyond blessed to be able to see all of the support the community has for survivors and ending domestic violence. If you participated this year, be sure to hang onto your purple lights and yard sign for next October!!


On Friday, October 11, 2019, we welcomed over 200 guests at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center with excitement to experience Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs’ second annual Ultraviolet event. Many didn’t know exactly what to expect but knew they supported our mission. Attendees were awed with sights, tastes, sounds and feels – all to support shining light for survivors of domestic violence.

This year as guests entered, they were welcomed into the “City of Joy” and were encouraged to partake in a number of interactive experiences to spread light including; an interactive digital mural by Quartet Studios, light up floral crowns, swing on the swingset or play on the teeter tooter in our city’s park, watching a stunning performance by the internationally dance group by the Hiplet Ballerinas, placing a peg or two in the GIANT fund-a-need light bright board and the opportunity to join the “collective brightness” moment as all attendees came together as one to shine a brighter light for domestic violence survivors.

“Ultraviolet was a beautiful event that allowed us to let loose, get creative and have fun while supporting a cause that is vitally important in our community! Thank Harbor House!”, an Ultraviolet 2019 event attendee


Everything about the night was truly magical and more than we could have ever dreamed for (once again!). We were thrilled to have raised over $60,000 to shine a light for survivors of domestic violence! We can not wait to see what Ultraviolet 2020 will bring! For more information on Harbor House’s premier fundraising event, Ultraviolet visit: www.harborhousewi.org/ultraviolet

“Thank you for all your creative effort at making the event unique.” – an Ultraviolet 2019 attendee