PHS Red Wings and the Southern Belles “put a nail” in domestic violence

WTAP News @ 6
Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 4:13 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -The Parkersburg South Belles and the Parkersburg High Red Wings showed up to school today with some pretty interesting nails. Each dancer painted one of their nails purple to spread awareness about domestic violence.

“I’m just in shock that one in four women have been victims of sexual assault. So, as a team of 22 girls, that means 5 of us have been affected so that’s just really mind-blowing and shocking that the world is like this,” said Southern Belle Mallory Marks.

That is just one stat Marks learned from Family Crisis Intervention Center about domestic violence and sexual assault.

The center spoke to the Belles and the PHS Red Wings as part of their National Domestic Violence Awareness Month outreach. Emily Larkins, Executive Director of the Family Crisis Intervention Center, and her team are partnering with these groups to not only spread awareness about domestic violence but educate young adults about the elements of healthy and unhealthy relationships.

“This is just a very important age group for them to understand that there are warning signs and that it’s not ok and that there are free confidential services for them to reach out to our direct service advocates and hopefully begin to educate them so they can break that cycle as they begin to have families of their own,” Larkins said.

In addition to listing to Larkins, the girls painted each of their ring fingers purple, the designated color for spreading awareness about this issue. The nail painting is part of the national campaign called “Put a Nail in It” which aims to end domestic violence.

Senior Red Wing Grace Curry says she plans on using her purple nails as a way to talk to others about domestic violence.

“I just think that it’s important that teen girls, well boys too, all learn about domestic violence and how we can speak up about it instead of feeling like we have to keep it to ourselves.”

Larkins shared with the teams that one in 4 females and one in 7 males in their lifetime will be affected by domestic violence. Larkins also says that the Intervention Center helped over 1,000 people affected by domestic violence and sexual assault last year and that they are ready to help many more.

“As a team, I feel like we are always there for each other and we always listen to one another,” Marks said.

“So, after today, we are equipped with our resources if we ever need help.”

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