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Dispatch from Denver: Purple Thursday

October 29, 2011 | Campaigns > Paid Sick Days

When I was packing my suitcase for Denver, I made sure to throw in a purple sweater. Why? Because Thursday, October 27, was “Purple Thursday,” a day when advocates seeking an end to domestic violence wear purple to raise awareness, celebrate survivors and mourn those lost to violence. I knew that friends of mine back in Washington, D.C., were participating in this tradition, and I wanted to bring it to Denver in solidarity.

Helen in purple

It’s also very appropriate to my mission in Denver — helping to pass Initiative 300 (I-300). Like most paid sick days proposals, I-300 includes a provision that allows survivors of domestic and sexual violence and stalking to use their earned sick time, referred to as paid “safe days,” to address needs related to a violent incident, like getting medical or legal assistance or finding a safe place to stay. Unfortunately, survivors of domestic and sexual violence are extremely susceptible to job loss, particularly when they don’t have a way to take the job-protected time they need. This is not only unfair, but also a terrible blow to survivors’ economic security at a time when they can least afford it. I-300 would let them take care of their needs while protecting their jobs.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, when advocates work extra hard to educate their communities about the preventable dangers of domestic violence. Denver voters have a chance to give a helping hand to survivors of violence on November 1 by passing Initiative 300. It’s not the be-all end-all of ending violence, but it’s a much-needed step that will significantly and positively impact survivors and their families.


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