October 1

Yesterday was October 1, the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


As most of you are aware, I worked in Domestic Violence in Pennsylvania and Ohio for many years.  Last night, here in Asheville, the local shelter HelpMate, held a vigil in Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville.  A group of women who form a women’s choir, WomenSong, performed and it was music with a message, with good voices and good hearts behind them.


A survivor told her harrowing story and, though we got rained on throughout the event, it was a beautiful gathering that included a memorial to all the women and men in North Carolina who have died due to Domestic Violence in the past year.  Amazingly, through the combined efforts of organizations like HelpMate and the YWCA, along with law enforcement, the mayor’s office, the county and city councils, and the D.A.’s office, not one of those died in Buncombe County.


I’ve been to many of these vigils and the difference from when we started that first shelter in the ’70’s was remarkable.  There was a police presence, to protect the attendees, and a plethora of government officials, from the local and county levels, were there to show their personal and political support.  A proclamation from the Mayor declaring October to be Domestic Violence Awareness  Month in Asheville was read; among other things the proclamation gave her public support for the work to stop Domestic Violence in Buncombe County and Asheville.

I’m going to include some of the pictures I took last night.  It was raining and was quite dark after the sun went down, but for those who have never attended an event like this, I wanted you to see what is going on here in Asheville.  Some of these picture are of T-Shirts from the Clothesline Project, a National movement where survivors and families and friends of victims of Domestic Violence who were killed express themselves and the stories of lives that were lost by decorating and writing on shirts. Each shirt represents a life lost, or damaged by Domestic Violence.


I also introduced myself to HelpMate’s volunteer coordinator, and offered my services.  I am looking forward to getting into the trenches of this fight, within the limit of my mobility and health.










You can Survive Beautiful and Happy Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015



Real Men Don’t Hit Women Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015


Closeline Project Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015


Each Shirt is a life lost or damaged Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015


Violence has not place in a relationship Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015


Just because you’re a Girl doesn’t mean you have to be a Victim Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015




WomenSong Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015


WomenSong Rehearsing Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015


Standing in the rain for an important cause Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015


Spirits undampened in support Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015


The City of Asheville Building lit up in Purple — the color of Domestic Violence Prevention Photograph Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015




6 thoughts on “October 1

  1. petchary says:

    Congratulations on your great work! I have seen the clothesline before somewhere and think it’s a great concept. (Just wrote a blog post about violence against women in Jamaica myself!) #KickOutGBV

    • This is the time to do that. I am going to go through their particular training and offered my blog if writing is what I can do for them. They are partners with the YWCA and I used to be on the board of both. Of course, I could barely walk today or stand up straight. Standing around is difficult for me but I am better now. So I will do what I am able to do. Keep writing. Hugs, Barbara

      • petchary says:

        Oh, Barbara! I am so sorry to hear you have been so incapacitated but you still sound cheerful! I think we all need to do whatever we are capable of, and I believe writing is still so powerful. I will continue and I know you will too! 🙂 Whatever you write on this topic I will definitely retweet. It is a huge issue for us in Jamaica, as perhaps everywhere.

  2. Thank You, Barbara,
    for this serious and important post – much needed.

    For me, any man who hits a woman is scum…full stop.

    My best to You


  3. Thank you Barb for your post. I hope you are well. Along with my challenging life with my son, I am also a victim of mental, emotional and financial abuse and getting help with our local group. I am taking one step at a time to work myself free from a 44 year marriage. I denied the abuse for many years in order to care for my son. It is my turn finally and I soon will be free.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s