In observance of national domestic violence awareness month, a Quad-City jeweler and a social service agency are teaming up to raise awareness of the problem that affects women and children.
Diamonds on the Avenue has designed a one-of-a-kind necklace with crystal glass in purple – the color for domestic violence. The Davenport jeweler, owned by Margaret and Kevin Whitgrove, created the pendant to raise awareness all year round.
“Women who are in that position and have to leave with just the clothes on their back — and these precious kids — they just break my heart,” Margaret Whitgrove said.
During the month of October, Diamonds on the Avenue will donate $10 of every purchase of the special pendants to Christian Care’s domestic violence shelter. The pendants begin at $49.
According to Whitgrove, the purple pendant changes color in the sun and the necklace includes a floating diamond. The diamond signifies the domestic violence survivor, who is a diamond in the rough yet still shining through her pain, she said.
Rebecca Wheeler, Christian Care’s marketing and events coordinator, said Diamonds on the Avenue is no stranger to the Rock Island social service agency — sponsoring many of its events and projects. But this is the first time the Whitgroves have designed a piece of jewelry for its benefit.
“If the (pendant’s) wearer tells the story, then they raise awareness all year long,” she added.
The design, she said, pays homage to all who are suffering from the effects of domestic violence, those who have survived and are thriving, and those who did not survive.
“Margaret and Kevin are very passionate about being a small business that helps build the community,” she added.
Whitgrove said that years ago, they decided to support just a couple of causes “that were near and dear to our hearts.” They chose the homeless and domestic violence victims.
Christian Care operates the only Illinois Quad-City shelter that is dedicated to women who are leaving domestic violence situations. Last year, the shelter served 100 women and children, Wheeler said, adding that its domestic violence crisis line fielded 600 calls.
The organization also runs a rescue mission for homeless men in Rock Island.
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“Domestic violence is a huge problem. We have an active waiting list and are always full,” she said. One of the differences with Christian Care’s shelter is that “women can stay as long as it takes to make the positive changes to transform their lives.”
Wheeler said 97 percent of the women who complete Christian Care’s program go on to live independent lives, free of their abusers. While 3 percent do return to their abusive situations, the number is far below the national average of 30 percent, Wheeler said.
The pendant is available at Diamonds on the Avenue, 3320 E. Kimberly Road.
If you know a woman in need, call the Christian Care Crisis Hotline 24 hours a day at 309-788-2273.