October is a time to bring closer attention to domestic violence and its effect on victims and their children.

Again this year, DOVES of Gateway, the non-profit organization that provides safe shelter and services to domestic violence victims, will mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month with several events.

Located in Morehead, DOVES serves Bath, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan and Rowan counties.

DOVES, which celebrated its 25-year anniversary in 2018, will have its annual silent auction, a candlelight vigil and clothesline project this month.

The online auction begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 14, and ends Thursday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m.

Among the items for bid are two tickets to the sold out concert of Luke Combs in February 2020, a Tennessee vacation package, UK men’s basketball tickets, Vera Bradley accessories, casino package, Calloway golf bag, fire pits, and new this year a chalet stay at the Kentucky Castle.

You must register at dovesofgateway.org in order to bid on the items. Also check out www.facebook.com/dovesofgateway.

Also, visit the DOVES Facebook page to see sneak peeks of auction items.

“We want people to bid high and bid often for a great cause. Money stays right here in Morehead at the shelter to help provide our services that we hope educate, impact and empower survivors of domestic violence,” said Kelli Petronella, DOVES executive director.

Services are free and you do not have to be a resident of the shelter to receive them.

“For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we want to educate and raise awareness in the Gateway counties we serve about domestic violence,” Petronella said.

It is about removing barriers, advocating for survivors and providing them with resources.

DOVES’ 24/7 emergency safe shelter provides emergency and interpersonal protective orders after hours.

DOVES employees and volunteers help with a variety of services including case management, shelter, food, clothing, legal and child advocacy, counseling and housing. They also help with diapers, clothes, food, cleaning and hygiene supplies when residents leave the shelter.

Other events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month include the clotheslines project and candlelight vigil.

The clothesline project is on display at the Rowan County Courthouse, Rowan County Public Library and the county health department.

It features T-shirts made by DOVES residents and what DOVES means to them.

“It’s a way to showcase a local issue,” said Andrea Gibson, DOVES outreach coordinator/case manager. “All shirts were created by someone living here at the shelter who fled an unsafe environment.”

The Tuesday, Oct. 22 candlelight vigil at the Gateway Child Advocacy Center on Main Street will feature food, snacks, a speaker who is a domestic violence survivor, and “Speak My Name” 2019 victims.

The names represent the 26 victims killed by male intimate partners identified in Kentucky (Sept. 1, 2018 – Aug. 31, 2019)

Chinese lanterns with the names of each woman will be released at the vigil, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The public is welcome to create their own lantern to remember or celebrate a survivor.

The month was kicked off Oct. 1 with a proclamation signing by Mayor Laura White-Brown, Judge-Executive Harry Clark and County Attorney Cecil Watkins.

For information, call the DOVES of Gateway office at 784-6880.

Stephanie Ockerman can be reached at sockerman@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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