Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Public Awareness

“Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” aka Turn the State Purple

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!  Since 2008, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has encouraged everyone to “Shine a Light” on the issue by turning their communities purple – the color of domestic violence awareness. Through this low- or no-cost campaign, people have illuminated public buildings and landmarks as well as homes and workplaces. Police departments have displayed purple magnetic ribbons on their vehicles, and colleges and universities have lit their mascots and fountains purple. Many individuals have also sent us photographs of their colleagues and staff, family and friends, wearing purple clothing and ribbons, holding purple awareness banners, and even dressing their pets in bandannas! We are thrilled that this campaign has grown from several dozen participants in our first year to thousands as of 2015. For ideas and inspiration, check out our Facebook photo albums to see many of the creative efforts people have made over the years.

This year, we’d like to encourage all New Yorkers to shine brighter than ever! So please keep doing what you’re doing, but make it even bigger. More lights. More illumination. More visual representation within your communities and workplaces. We’d like to really see the state turn purple, and we can’t do it without you. But we can help. The toolkit below offers many resources that you can download for free – including instructions for how to light a structure purple – so please take a look. And please let us know if there are any tools you would like us to consider developing for next year! We are always here to help troubleshoot and to provide you with whatever support we can, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

And note that “Wear Purple Day” is Thursday, October 20, 2016. This year, we are switching from our traditional third Wednesday in October to the third Thursday, to join the national initiative. Please post photos using #ShinetheLight, #WearPurpleNYS and #PurpleThursday.


OPDV’s “Shine the Light” Toolkit

Every year, OPDV provides free tools and resources that can be used by domestic violence service providers, public and private businesses, government agencies, college campuses, community organizations and individuals to help them “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” by turning something purple in October and talking about it. OPDV’s free downloadable “Shine the Light Toolkit” includes:


Be included in 2015! Send photos to or post them to Instagram with the hashtag #ShineTheLight and we’ll put them in our photo gallery on Facebook!

See the year-by-year summaries:

Photo Gallery

Participants: See the list of Purple Partners

Summary: Not available

Press Release: October 2008