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'Man Up Crusade' seeks to increase domestic violence awareness

Many people in Colorado have either participated in or attended a rodeo. The bulls, horses, cowboys and cowgirls are all part of the action, as are the rodeo clowns. These popular events draw lots of attendees. Later this year, some rodeo riders in Colorado may be decked out in purple shirts in an attempt to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Many Coloradoans are aware of certain colors that are used to signify a cause. For example, the color pink is associated with breast cancer awareness. The Idaho sheriff and his wife who started the "Man Up Crusade" two years ago have chosen purple as its color. The sheriff said that domestic violence is "the most unreported crime that we have ... One in four women are a victim of domestic violence."

The Man Up Crusade's uses a different arena for raising domestic violence awareness -- the rodeo arena. On "Purple Nights," rodeo attendees are asked to wear purple to support the Man Up Crusade's cause. According to the sheriff, the Man Up Crusade has been very successful. Any funds that are raised during "Purple Nights" are given back to the communities, including women's shelters and other domestic violence programs.

While the Man Up Crusade has been active only at rodeos in Idaho over the last two years, the sheriff plans to hold "Purple Nights" in five other states this year, including Colorado.

Organizations such as this one are important to increasing awareness about domestic violence. No one should live in fear from someone he or she lives with or is related to. There are options available for victims of domestic violence; the first step in accessing those options is to seek help.

Source: KTVB.com, "Sheriff expands 'Man Up Crusade' to rodeos throughout the West" Bonnie Shelton, Apr. 14, 2014

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