St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann helped a newly-formed St. Bernard organization kick-off on Saturday (Oct. 26) their effort to spread awareness about domestic violence throughout the parish.
Project Purple St. Bernard’s plan includes placing 14 purple life-sized cutouts depicting women who have been killed from a domestic violence incident at various locations throughout the parish. Each cutout contains a written message from the victim about how they suffered from this type of abuse, or from a surviving family member.
On Saturday, Sheriff Pohlmann joined Project Purple members as they placed the cut-outs in front of the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division on West Judge Perez Drive in Arabi, at the corner of Aycock Street. The cutouts will be moved every few days to a new location throughout the parish throughout the end of October.
Mandy Dobronich, a co-founder of Project Purple St. Bernard, first became aware of this nationwide program after seeing a post on social media.
“I came up with the idea to do this in St. Bernard after viewing a Facebook post from a Missouri organization that did the same thing. I shared it on Facebook and simply said, ‘I would love to do this in St. Bernard’,” Dobronich said. “That’s when my two friends, Ericka Perez and Heather Couture, commented and said ‘Let’s do it!’…and we hit the ground running.”
Dobronich said the cutouts were made possible through monetary donations, donations of materials, and volunteers who helped cut them out and paint them.
Any leftover funds will be donated to the St. Bernard Battered Women’s Shelter, she said.
The group’s mission, Dobronich said, is to raise awareness of intimate partner abuse, as well as to support and empower individuals and aid them in recovery.
“Our goal for the future is to have a range of free resources readily available and advocate to help end domestic violence,” she said. “I am hoping to make this even bigger next year, and possibly turn PPSB into a legit community organization.”
For more information about Project Purple St. Bernard, visit their Facebook page or call (504) 450-9931.