Violence is an urgent public health problem, which can affect people in all stages of life and lead to a lifetime of physical, emotional, and economic problems.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Metro Health is committed to preventing violence so everyone can live a safe and healthy life.
Part of preventing violence is bringing awareness, such as initiatives like the Purple Porch SA campaign.
During October, you are encouraged to switch out your porch light with a purple bulb or decorate your porch purple to raise awareness about domestic violence.
“We know regarding domestic violence situations that often time it goes unreported. So this is our way of really shining light on this domestic violence issue in our community, and so by turning our city purple, it’s showing awareness and support,” said Morjoriee White, assistant director of San Antonio Metro Health.
A typical public health approach to many issues is taking preventive measures.
However, with domestic violence, if they are unable to prevent the violence from occurring, the response is to provide immediate support and necessary resources for individuals or families.
The Violence Prevention Program works to do both. The program is one of the newest and fastest growing sections within Metro Health’s department, White said.
It consists of the domestic violence program, which works closely with local law enforcement and other domestic violence community partners. They provide wraparound services and case management to survivors of domestic violence.
There is also the Triple P Parenting Program. This is a preventive model that promotes positive parenting to prevent these type of situations as the child grows up.
The Stand Up SA program, which operates on the East and West sides of San Antonio, works with communities where there may be a high prevalence of violence to disrupt it, White said.
Continuing to provide information and resources to those in the community is also very important. Metro Health will be at the Dia de Los Muertos event at Hemisphere Park this weekend, bringing awareness to domestic violence.
“Bexar County unfortunately carries the title of having the highest rate of domestic violence, homicides in this state. Us, our presence there over the weekend, is us remembering the lives that have been lost because of this concern in our community, but also shed light on all violence and providing support as we all as a community heal through acts of violence,” White said.
To learn more about the Violence Prevention Program, you can call 211, or if it’s an emergency, call 911. You can also find more information on Metro Health’s website at https://www.sanantonio.gov/health.