FARMINGTON — Purple ribbons in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness month went up Friday on Center Bridge.

It was one of several activities planned this month in Franklin, Oxford and Androscoggin counties.

Hillary Hooke, Franklin County community educator for Safe Voices, with help from Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck, tied three ribbons to bridge posts as part of the Crossing Bridges program. The ribbons will remain up throughout the month.

The annual Domestic Violence Memorial Vigil will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, starting in Meetinghouse Park, Hooke said.

From the park, participants will walk to the Student Center at the University of Maine at Farmington where Assistant District Attorney Claire Andrews and Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. are expected to speak on the topic, she said. There will also be time for people to share their stories about domestic violence.

Similar vigils will take place at 6 p.m. at Festival Plaza in Auburn, the Information Booth in Rumford and Moore Park in South Paris.

There has been a 22 percent increase in domestic violence arrests this year in Franklin County, Hooke said.

Peck and Hooke are members of the Franklin County Domestic Violence Task Force, a group of agency representatives, advocates and community members interested in working on domestic violence prevention.

Bows were being attached to bridges in Strong, Kingfield, Carrabassett Valley, New Sharon and Farmington this month, Hooke said. Bows were also going up in Oxford and Androscoggin counties, she said.

The Crossing Bridges campaign would not be possible without the support of the Maine Department of Transportation, she said.

Lights and ribbons will be placed in Meetinghouse Park on Monday.

Other activities planned during the month include Wear Purple Day on Oct. 14 to show support for survivors and victims, she said. 

Educational workshops will take place at UMF.

Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day is on Oct. 7.  Health providers are encouraged to know the signs of domestic violence in their patients and the sources to send them for help, she said.

Safe Voices will also be at the Pumpkin Festival in Farmington from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 10 with an educational activity.

A table will also be set up at the Pumpkinfest in Rumford from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 10. Safe Voices will sponsor a table at the Rangeley Senior Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 17.

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