SAFFORD — October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Mount Graham Safe House has been marking the occasion with its Light Up the Night event. This year, though, the Safe House changed things up, replacing Light Up the Night with a candlelight walk through Downtown Safford.

“We wanted to focus more this year on the awareness of domestic violence and that it does happen in this community,” said Safe House sexual assault advocate Sandy Garza. “It’s just getting the word out that Mount Graham Safe House is here. It’s something different that we’re doing because there’s other people in the community that started doing the sky lanterns.”

Participants in Tuesday night’s walk assembled in front of the Graham County Courthouse, which was lit with purple lights to salute Domestic Violence Awareness Month. They then proceeded up 8th Avenue to Highway 70, over to 6th Avenue and down Main Street, which was festooned with purple ribbons — a new addition in the campaign to raise awareness.

In addition, the Safe House is selling “Stop Domestic Violence” T-shirts for $10. Garza said the shirts can be ordered by calling 928-348-9104 or going to the Safe House.

Garza said the Safe House provides such services as a place to stay for those who need one, help with making plans after leaving an abusive relationship and assistance with such legal proceedings as obtaining orders of protection and filing for divorce.

She said its mission was to “be that support for people that don’t have support around them. When some people feel like they’ve been isolated and don’t have anybody to turn to, that’s what Mount Graham Safe House is. We’re somebody for them to turn to.”

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