Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago held a ceremony earlier this month to tie purple ribbons around a tree in its lobby as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The awareness-raising activity is part of a program that hospital launched earlier this year to better equip providers to identify and respond to domestic violence, as well as victims of human trafficking and sexual assault. Working with local organizations has been a key component of the program.  

“The purple ribbon has come to symbolize the anti-domestic violence movement – it represents courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending all forms of domestic violence,” said Kate Lawler, the hospital’s health advocate.

In addition to the direct injuries that women suffer from violence, Lawler said the “stress of living with a violent or controlling partner can lead to additional physical, as well as mental health problems, and exacerbate existing medical conditions.” 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month