BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – October marks Intimate Partner and Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and purple is the color used to symbolize awareness of domestic violence.

King University held its eighth-annual Paint it Purple day on Thursday as part of the global awareness and prevention campaign.

The university’s community was encouraged to wear any purple they could find or even sport purple hair. Purple ribbons and nail polish were provided in the dining hall during lunch hours.

Those raising awareness painted only one fingernail as a way to spread awareness.

“We paint the ring finger on the left hand, which symbolizes the intimate nature of the violence , but also, it symbolizes the one in four rate of people who are experiencing that sort of violence,” said Jodi Helbert, program coordinator of King’s Bachelor of Social Work.

Statistics show one in four people will experience intimate partner violence, which includes both men and women. Roughly 24 people endure intimate partner violence every minute, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the National Institute of Justice.

Photo: WJHL

“Since March of 2020, since the beginning of the pandemic, domestic violence and intimate partner violence rates have skyrocketed,” Helbert said. “So we hope that this event will help save lives.”

More events are planned for Thursday night at King University, and participants were also encouraged to decorate their dorms or offices in purple.