JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Onslow Women’s Center is spreading the word in a unique way.
During the Cup of Awareness Campaign — when you buy a cup of coffee in Onslow County during the month of October — you’ll most likely get a coffee sleeve with the Onslow Women’s Shelter’s crisis line on it.
Coffee sleeves are helping spread awareness about domestic violence. There are seven coffee shops in the county participating: Blend, Coffee Haven, Milk Road, Brewed Downtown, Port City Java, Crush Nutrition and The Spot.
“There are a lot of people who experienced domestic violence, it’s a very hard thing for people to talk about for the community to talk about,” Associate Director for Onslow Women’s Center Melissa Radomicki said.
Radomicki said the Onslow Women’s Center tries to push as many resources and messages as they can to domestic violence survivors during this month. When they were brainstorming ideas for this month, they thought because everyone drinks coffee, this would be the perfect opportunity to get the word out.
“We want to make sure that everybody has access to this. And it’s really just about spreading awareness that we’re here. And that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” said Radomicki.
The Women’s Center says they get about 900 to 950 crisis calls a year. They say that number boils down to about 150 per month. They want people in this situation to know that they’re not alone.
“What is most important about it is just getting the message out to survivors that there are resources for you, there are people that are here for you, you’re not alone,” said Radomicki.
Blend is one of the coffee shops participating. In the past, they have partnered with the center and had a big impact on people in the community. Some of the things they’ve done include their Safe Haven drink and a mural outside the building, both featuring the crisis line.
Owner Elissa Faith Dyal explained why they decided to carry the coffee sleeves this year.
“Just to get that message that nowhere should be your escape you should feel safe wherever you’re at and that when calling the woman’s center, they can help you to just make you feel safe wherever you’re at,” Dyal said.
On Oct. 14, the public is welcome to attend the Onslow Women’s Center’s annual Candlelight Vigil for domestic violence victims at 6 pm at Riverwalk Park. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the crisis number to the Onslow Women’s Center is (910) 347-4000.