This October, United Services will mark National Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a series of community education initiatives to continue its mission to break the cycle of violence in our communities.

United Services provides the only domestic violence shelters and services in Northeastern Connecticut. Our Domestic Violence Program offers a wide array of services designed to respond to the needs of victims and their children as they rebuild their lives free of abuse, including a 24/7 hotline, shelter, advocacy and counseling services.

United Services Domestic Violence Hotline answered 1,171 calls in FY 2017.

“We continue to see a high demand for our services in Northeastern Connecticut,” said Diane L. Manning, President/CEO of United Services. “Community awareness is one of the strongest methods of prevention and we are proud to offer opportunities for people to learn more about and speak out against domestic violence this October.”

United Services will present two presentations of the powerful workshop, “In Her Shoes.” The first will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24 at United Services Willimantic Clinic, 132 Mansfield Avenue, Willimantic. The second will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday Oct. 26 at United Services Dayville Clinic, 1007 North Main Street, Dayville.

In Her Shoes is a two-hour interactive presentation that explores the lives of survivors of domestic violence. Participants will move, do, think, and experience the lives of women in an abusive relationship. It will allow participants to understand the severe challenges that survivors of domestic violence face each day and to help answer the question: Why doesn’t she just leave? To register, email

United Services will host a 20-hour Certification Training Course at Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU). The course teaches students about the dynamics of domestic violence and trains them to work for a domestic violence program. The course will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday Oct. 13, 20 and 27. To register, contact Patti-Sue Brown at

The Domestic Violence program will display The Clothesline Project at United Services Dayville Clinic, 1007 North Main Street, ECSU and the Willimantic Public Libraries during the month of October.

The Clothesline Project is a compelling visual display of T-shirts that have been created by local survivors of domestic violence. Each year during the month of October, United Services honors those women by hanging the shirts in the community to increase awareness. Each shirt represents the survivor’s strength and courage to break the silence, end the cycle of violence and heal from the traumatic experience.

United Services will also acknowledge local police departments during October by delivering “Kisses for Cops” baskets to Connecticut State Police Troops C, D and K, ECSU and University of Connecticut Police, and the Coventry, Plainfield, Putnam and Willimantic Police Departments.

The baskets will include chocolate kisses and brochures covering the comprehensive services offered through the agency. The partnership between police officers and domestic violence advocates is critical in providing more coordinated services and engaging victims who would otherwise be unlikely to seek support of domestic violence services.

The agency also encourages staff and community partners to wear purple every Friday in October and to wear purple on Purple Tie Tuesday on Oct. 17 as a means for raising awareness.

The Domestic Violence Program is seeking donations for children, teenagers, and mothers of brand new underwear, socks, bras, t-shirts, pajama sets, sweat shirts and pants, slippers, and winter coats for all sizes.

By the numbers:

  • Domestic Violence cases represent one-third of Connecticut criminal cases.
  • Eighty percent of child protective cases substantiate domestic violence as a major concern.
  • DV emergency shelter beds remain full throughout the state of Connecticut, and demand for shelter has increased 119 percent in 8 years, according to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

United Services 24/7 confidential Domestic Violence hotlines can be reached at 860-456-9476 or 860-774-8648.