LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Domestic violence in Lexington isn’t just up this year, it’s skyrocketing with 1100% more domestic violence homicide cases than last year, according to the mayor’s office. October marks the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and you may start seeing a certain kind of pumpkin across the city.
There are at least 100 purple pumpkins spread out at Lexington restaurants and businesses. It’s known as the Peace Pumpkin campaign, The point is to grab your attention, raise awareness about domestic violence, and spark conversations about the tough topic.
“I think the pumpkins just make it a little safer if you’re a survivor, and maybe a little easier to access than calling the hotline for the first time,” said Diane Fleet, associate director of GreenHouse17. “It just seems like a friendlier way to reach out.”
This is the second year Lexington’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition has spearheaded this campaign in conjunction with Transylvania University’s “It’s On Us” group and Greenhouse17. The groups want to end domestic violence once and for all.
According to Greenhouse 17, one in four Kentucky women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Domestic violence is more than just physical abuse and usually happens behind closed doors. It can be in the form of emotional abuse, financial abuse, or even isolation. While Lexington is seeing this rapid rise of domestic violence homicide cases, the groups want the community to work together against any form of abuse.
“We really want folks to know this is a community issue. This is not just something that stays private in homes,” said Fleet. “Folks really need to be able to recognize if they see something that doesn’t seem healthy.”
Each Peace Pumpkin has a card with a QR code attached to it. Scan the code to get access to information and resources about domestic violence. It’s great for survivors of domestic violence, supporters of survivors, or people who just want to learn more.