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What color purple for domestic violence awareness?

Domestic violence is a serious issue affecting millions of people worldwide. While October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, promoting awareness is important year-round. One way to spread awareness is through the use of the color purple, which has become a symbol of the fight against domestic violence.

The Meaning Behind the Color Purple

The choice of purple as a representation of domestic violence awareness dates back to the early 1980s. A handful of individuals in the YWCA wanted to bring attention to this often overlooked issue. They decided to tie it to a color and landed on purple because it is a combination of blue, representing bruises, and red, representing bleeding.

This meaning behind the purple ribbon emerged organically from advocates and survivors. Over the years, the color has become an established symbol used during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout the year by activists, survivors, and supporters.

Shades of Purple Used

When it comes to domestic violence awareness, purple does not necessarily mean one specific shade. Organizations and individuals may choose different hues and tones depending on preference and meaning.

Some of the most commonly used shades of purple include:

  • Lavender – This light, soft purple conveys hope and tranquility.
  • Orchid – A rich, vibrant purple that symbolizes courage.
  • Iris – A pale purple that represents wisdom.
  • Amethyst – A deep purple that suggests power and strength.
  • Eggplant – A dark purple evoking depth and passion.

While any shade of purple works for domestic violence awareness, deeper or brighter purples tend to make the most visual impact. Light purple hues may convey more subtle meanings of remembrance and honor.

Use of Purple in Logos and Symbols

Many domestic violence organizations incorporate different shades of purple into their logos and symbols. This helps cement the color as a representation of the cause.

Some examples include:

  • The Purple Ribbon – The most recognizable symbol, often used in combination with other imagery.
  • – Uses a deep purple handprint.
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Incorporates orchid purple and blue.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – Features a saturated purple background.

Regardless of the specific shade, the color purple grabs people’s attention and identifies the organization or event as pertaining to domestic violence awareness.

Use of Purple in Apparel and Accessories

Apparel and accessories in various shades of purple provide a way for people to visibly promote domestic violence awareness. Some examples include:

  • Purple shirts, hats, ribbons, bracelets, and pins
  • Shoelaces, scarves, ties, and socks in purple hues
  • Purple makeup looks and nail polish

Schools, workplaces, teams, and other groups often coordinate a “Purple Day” where everyone wears the color in solidarity against domestic violence. This shows unity and makes the issue impossible to ignore.

Use of Purple in Decor and Visual Displays

Beyond apparel, the color purple can be incorporated through visual decor and displays:

  • Purple flags, banners, posters, and billboards
  • Purple light displays on buildings and monuments
  • Decorating trees, statues, and fountains with purple ribbons and signs
  • Purple candles at vigils and events

Well-placed visuals in purple hues catch people’s eyes and remind the community that domestic violence deserves attention. They demonstrate that many people care about this issue.

Factors Influencing Purple Shade Selection

Those selecting a purple shade for domestic violence awareness should consider the following factors:

  • Meaning – Darker shades may convey power, while lighter ones promote tranquility.
  • Visibility – Brighter purples grab more attention from a distance.
  • Pairing – Coordinate purple with other colors like blue or white.
  • Audience – Conservative hues for corporate settings, vivid tones for rallies.
  • Accessibility – Ensure enough color contrast for visibility-impaired audiences.

Think about the exact message, situation, and viewers when picking a purple. This helps maximize visual impact.

Examples of Purple Usage

Some examples of purple being used effectively for domestic violence awareness include:

  • Bold purple banners at a fundraising walk
  • Soft purple candlelight vigil with lighter purple ribbons
  • Dark purple brochures outlining abuse statistics and resources
  • Vibrant purple display on a public monument for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Regardless of setting, a well-selected purple helps convey an anti-domestic violence message and shows solidarity with survivors.

Alternatives to Purple

While purple is the standard color for domestic violence awareness, alternatives may be used in some cases:

  • Blue – Represents bruising and may be paired with purple.
  • Yellow – Symbolizes hope and optimism for the future.
  • White – Suggests purity and peace when combined with purple.
  • Orange – A bright, energetic hue that stands out.

However, purple remains the most instantly recognized color for domestic violence awareness by far. Alternatives are much less common.


Representing domestic violence awareness with the color purple started organically decades ago, and continues to grow in popularity. Any shade of purple works, but deeper hues often convey greater power and meaning. Correctly implementing this meaningful color shows unity, promotes visibility, and demonstrates caring. With purple, we can lift our voices for those impacted by domestic abuse.