Cumberland County, ME – The Cumberland County Courthouse will be lit up in purple for the remainder of October bringing recognition to Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As many equate domestic violence impacting only women; men and children are also victims. Domestic violence does not discriminate based on age, background and belief. Nationwide nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have suffered severe physical violence by a partner or spouse. Children who witness domestic violence in the home often experience a lifetime of trauma. Cumberland County Government’s Violence Intervention Partnership (VIP) sole purpose is coordination of community response to domestic violence. VIP is a partnership between numerous local and regional stakeholders that include local, county, state agencies, advocates and community groups who all play a significant role advocating and educating our communities about domestic violence. The VIP Advisory Council’s goals are keeping domestic violence victims safe in the community, holding offenders accountable and changing how our communities think about domestic violence. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Cumberland County reaffirms our commitment to a region where no one suffers from domestic violence and we continue the commitment to do everything in our abilities to be free from violence and abuse. As a way to bring awareness to Domestic Violence, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Cumberland County has proposed raising awareness of the issue by shining purple lights, the symbolic hue, on the County Courthouse at 142 Federal Street in Portland. “Purple light nights is a global campaign in over 23 states and 3 countries with the goal to increase awareness of domestic violence and its effect on children and families in our community,” said Faye Luppi, Director of the Violence Intervention Partnership. “The Violence Intervention Partnership is excited that the County is participating in this global campaign.” “We are proud of the work of the Violence Intervention Partnership and though we may be bringing awareness of domestic violence during the month of October, domestic violence is an issue that is 24/7, 365 days a year,” James Gailey, Cumberland County Assistant Manager, said. “We need to support and continue to work with stakeholders in hopes of someday putting an end to this horrible act of cruelty.” Cumberland County is located in Southern Maine and is comprised of 28 local municipalities encompassing over 283,000 residents over 853 square miles. Cumberland County is committed to providing quality services to all citizens equitably, in a responsive and caring manner. Five Commissioners are the chief elected officials of the County. Their primary role involves setting policy and approval of the county budget. This process allows the commissioners to assess county operations for both efficiency and effectiveness. In 2010, voters in Cumberland County approved a first-ever Charter for the County. The Charter defines how County Government organizes itself, selects officers, officials and employees, and establishes departments, agencies and boards. Established in 1998, the Cumberland County Government’s Violence Intervention Partnership (VIP) has the sole purpose of coordinating community response to domestic violence. VIP is a partnership between numerous local and regional stakeholders that include the local, county, state agencies, advocates and community groups who all play a significant role advocating and educating our communities about domestic violence. The VIP Advisory Council’s goals include keeping domestic violence victims safe in the community, hold offenders accountable and change how our community thinks about domestic violence. In 2015, VIP received a 3-year Office of Violence Against Women/Department of Justice grant for $438,001, bringing the total received from Office of Violence Against Women for the VIP project to $3,891,740 million since 1997. The MPS DV Case manager has supervised 112 offenders in the community in the last year. In 2015, the Incarcerated Victim’s Advocacy Program at the Cumberland County Jail and the Maine Correctional Center has served 282 victims of abuse with education support groups, case management services, and transitional and re-entry services for the women at Cumberland County Jail when they leave the facility. The VIP project Incarcerated Women’s advocate has also worked with 20 victims of trafficking. VIP Project Director Faye Luppi represents Cumberland County on the court DV Advisory Council, the New Mainers DV and Sexual Assault Initiative, the Child Advocacy Center, the U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Neighborhoods. For more information, please contact Cumberland County Violence Intervention Project Director Faye Luppi at 207-871-8380 or firstname.lastname@example.org.