Purple Porch Lights Bring Awareness For Domestic Violence | Big Horn Basin Media

Purple Porch Lights Bring Awareness For Domestic Violence

Written by on May 16, 2023

A typical porch light or outdoor light can be described as “cool” or “warm white” or, some would say, “boring.”
In the past few years and thanks to LED technology, homeowners, stadiums and businesses are taking the typical outdoor light and putting their own spin on it with bright, audacious colors.  Specialty lighting isn’t just for Christmas displays anymore. Between holidays, special months or occasions or even personal decoration choices, there are so many reasons why people are using different colored porch lights. However, when it comes to one color, though, there is significance that is specific and universal.

It may be that using different colored lights on a porch or outdoor area, doesn’t have anything to do with awareness of activism, but when it comes to what purple porch lights mean and stand for, it’s exactly that.

What is the meaning of purple porch lights?

The “Purple Light Campaign” is the universal color for domestic violence awareness and if a house is using a purple porch light, they’re most likely spreading awareness about domestic violence or are survivors of it.

But, because of coincidences, it can bit a bit tricky to determine if that’s actually the case because Domestic Violence Awareness Month is in October but the colored light is also a go-to for  which is also a pretty popular time to use purple lights for Halloween decorations. But especially if you spot purple lights without Halloween decor surrounding it or during other points in the year, you can probably assume it has to do with domestic violence awareness.

Lisa Peterman, Executive Director of Crisis Intervention Services here in Cody, says,” The Purple Light Campaign is a way to show your support for victims of domestic violence.  At Crisis Intervention Services, we help build a safety plan for people who cannot leave or you get [the victim(s)] out of their [DV] situation.”

Why is purple the color for domestic violence awareness?

Just as there are different colored ribbons to symbolize different awareness campaigns for various cancers, sicknesses or, groups, lights are now a way for groups, causes, etc., to be recognized on a large scale. For example, yellow ribbons can stand for childhood cancer awareness, pink ribbons are for breast cancer awareness and black can stand for melanoma awareness. Most colors double for multiple cancers or awareness campaigns, but it’s not just for ribbons. When it comes to what the color purple stands for, it symbolizes Alzheimer’s awareness, epilepsy awareness and domestic violence awareness.

Again, emblematic colors are not just for illnesses, as movements and different groups have their own representative colors that stand for their cause. And purple is the universal color for domestic violence agencies, campaigns, and awareness ribbons. The reason purple was chosen as the color for domestic violence awareness is because it’s the color of royalty and it became the symbolic color for women’s suffrage in the early 1900s, as noted at the website All About Abuse. And, ultimately, “for survivors of Domestic Violence, who may also be wounded both physically and emotionally, the color is meant to be a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor, and dedication to ending violence.”

Where did the practice of using purple lights start?

Back in 2004, Curt Lindsley and Victoria Throm co-founded the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force in Covington, Washington, to raise awareness for domestic violence and find a way to give support to survivors. Two years later, Throm started Purple Light Nights, with the goal of continuing to spreading this awareness through purple lights. They decorated trees in purple string lights, urging residents of Covington to do the same with their houses.

Since 2006, Purple Light Nights spread nationwide to 32 American states as well as 4 Canadian provinces.

What are different colored light bulbs meanings?

There are other colors of porch lights that might mean something if you see your neighbors using them.

Red lights:

Red porch lights could represent support for American Heart Month if you see them in February since the color red is associated with heart health and awareness.

Blue lights:

Blue lights have a couple of meanings. The owners of a house or porch with blue lights could be spreading autism awareness or showing support for the police.

Green lights:

Green lights are typically reserved for military veteran awareness. It could also be for Lyme Disease Awareness if you see them during the month of May.

Purple lights:

As mentioned above, purple porch lights or house lights mean awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness Month or general support for domestic violence survivors.

Blinking porch lights:

Typically, blinking porch lights mean there’s an emergency, regardless of color. Unless they’re fairy lights or festive, string lights flickering, if you see your neighbors’ big porch light going off and on, something dire might be going on.

Depending on the month of the year or if there’s a special holiday that might warrant a fun porch light bulb color, colorful porch lights could mean something different for everyone. But next time you look up and see a purple porch light, take a bit of time to think about domestic violence survivors and maybe donate to a charity working to help victims.

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