Purple Thursday Date in the current year: October 17, 2024

Purple Thursday Purple Thursday, also known as Wear Purple Day, is an annual awareness campaign held on the third Thursday of October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It was launched to raise awareness about domestic violence and, more specifically, about the intersection between traumatic brain injury and domestic violence.

The color purple became associated with domestic violence awareness in the 20th century thanks to the women’s suffrage movement. In 1916, a group of women split from the National American Woman Suffrage Association and formed the National Women’s Party to fight for women’s suffrage. The newly founded party chose purple, white and yellow (gold) as its official colors to represent purity, hope, and loyalty.

In July 1978, over 100,000 people participated in the March for the Equal Rights Amendment in Washington, DC. Many of them wore purple and lavender to make a stronger visual impact as they assembled to demand equal rights for women.

Due to the strong association of the color purple with women and their struggles, it was selected to promote awareness for the inaugural Domestic Violence Day of Unity that was held in October 1981. Since then, Domestic Violence Day of Unity has expanded to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the color purple has become firmly associated with domestic violence awareness.

Purple Thursday is observed throughout the United States and Canada on the third Thursday of October. It aims to raise awareness of domestic violence with a goal to eliminate it, but some organizations focus specifically on highlighting the connection between domestic violence and traumatic brain injury.

According to statistics, up to 90% of incidents of intimate partner violence (IPV) involve hits to the face, head, and neck, including strangulation. Further research has shown that 75% of women experiencing domestic violence also experience traumatic brain injury (TBI).

One of the worst things about traumatic brain injuries is that they are often invisible in situations where the brain injury is mild or moderate, but even a mild TBI can come with long-lasting health consequences if not addressed. What makes the situation even worse is that domestic abuse victims are often prevented from seeking medical care by their abusers.

Purple Thursday aims to better inform people who experience domestic violence about the symptoms of traumatic brain injury and its short-term and long-term consequences. It also strives to raise awareness of the intersection between TBI and domestic violence among people working with domestic abuse survivors (first responders, healthcare professionals, shelter stuff) so that they can provide targeted care and support.

How can you get involved with Purple Thursday? The easiest and most obvious way to participate is to wear something purple (a t-shirt, a hat, a tie, nail polish – whatever you can think of and have at your disposal) to start conversations, raise domestic violence awareness, and support survivors. You can also donate to or volunteer for an organization that helps domestic violence survivors and spread the word on social media with the hashtag #PurpleThursday.

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Purple Thursday, Wear Purple Day, awareness day, observances in the US, observances in Canada, domestic violence