October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this year's campaign theme is "United Against Domestic Abuse."

Wear purple on October 19 for Purple Thursday in recognition of survivors. Wear purple, hang purple lights, and make sure to tell others why purple is so important on this day.

North Dakota continues to witness a gradual rise in domestic violence rates, even in seemingly rural areas like Williston. It's crucial to recognize that domestic violence doesn't discriminate; it affects individuals regardless of their race, disability, or background.

Thankfully, there are avenues for help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence. Reach out to the Family Crisis Shelter, Inc. in Williston, which offers a range of support services, including safe shelter, advocacy, counseling, referrals, and guidance.

The Family Crisis Shelter plays a vital role in the community, as it serves as a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week crisis intervention program for victims and families dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault. It serves Divide, McKenzie, and Williams counties in NW North Dakota and is the sole shelter within a 130-mile radius dedicated to assisting domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

At present, the Family Crisis Shelter urgently needs community support, particularly in terms of food donations to replenish their pantry and freezers. Here's a list of items they welcome as in-kind donations:


  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Beans
  • Ramen noodles
  • Rice
  • Boxed meals/sides
  • Sugar/Flour
  • Pancake mix
  • Boxed Desserts
  • Packaged Sauces/Spices
  • Drink Mixes
  • Breads
  • Crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Dressings/Condiments
  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Soups
  • Canned Tuna/Chicken
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Peanut Butter/Jelly
  • Cooking Oils
  • Meats

Everyday Essentials:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body Wash/Bar Soaps
  • Feminine Products
  • Lotion/Deodorants
  • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste
  • Shaving Razors
  • Shaving Gel
  • Hair Products
  • Hair Brushes/Combs
  • Hair Ties
  • Bath Towels/Wash Cloths
  • Makeup
  • Clothing Items
  • Women’s socks, underwear, bras
  • Boys & Girls socks and underwear
  • Diapers Sizes 3-6 and pull-ups 2T-4T

Household items:

  • Laundry Soap/Pods
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Bleach
  • All-Purpose Cleaners
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Dish Soap/Sponges
  • Stain Remover
  • Luggage
  • Bedding


  • Dressers
  • Couches
  • Beds (in good condition)
  • Table & Chairs
  • End Tables
  • Coffee Tables
  • Lamps
  • Vacuums
  • Microwaves
  • Dishes
  • Pots & Pans

Donations can be dropped off at 421 34th St E, Williston, ND, United States, North Dakota. For more information, you can reach them at (701) 572-0757 or via email at Shelter.fcs@midconetwork.com. Additional details can be found on their website at https://www.familycrisisshelter.com.

CAWS North Dakota serves as the statewide sexual and domestic violence coalition, providing support to 20 advocacy crisis intervention centers across the state. More information about their work can be found at https://www.cawsnorthdakota.org/about-caws/.

Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that often remains hidden due to shame and fear. However, it's crucial to understand that it affects the community as a whole, posing a significant public health problem. By openly discussing domestic violence, we can raise awareness, identify abusive behaviors, and take steps to protect individuals in our communities—whether they're family members, friends, neighbors, or coworkers.

To get involved in domestic violence awareness, consider these actions:

  • Promote the components of healthy relationships.
  • Support organizations aiding domestic violence survivors.
  • Provide resources to those in domestic violence situations.
  • Listen to survivors and be active bystanders.

Domestic violence takes on many forms, encompassing physical, sexual, emotional, mental, financial, cultural, and technological abuse. Abusive relationships often involve a combination of these behaviors, persisting over time and often escalating in intensity.

Shockingly, domestic violence touches the lives of 1 in 3 individuals. Consider that statistic for a moment — it's an alarming number of people affected by this issue. Yet, it's worth noting that these figures likely underestimate the problem because much of the abuse goes unreported.

If you or someone you know is in danger, please prioritize safety. Use a secure computer, call 911, a local hotline, the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for assistance.

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