The Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma will kickoff the local observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month Tuesday with two events.

Stacey Mason, FSSO executive director, said the kickoff events will be sparked by the month-long awareness theme —"Light Up the Night." The theme is intended to encourage victims to empower themselves to move out of the darkness and into the light by seeking help.

The first event Tuesday is a "Drive-Thru Ribbon Tie" from 4 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of Homeland, 205 N. Commerce St.

"Come through and staff will put a purple ribbon magnet on your car," Mason said.

FSSO staff is also urging citizens throughout southern Oklahoma to participate in "Porch Night" from 7 to 10 p.m.

"Turn on your porch light in honor of domestic violence victims in our communities. Show your support by taking a photo of you participating and posting it on the Family Shelter's Facebook page," Mason said.

Misty Butler, FSSO business manager, said the shelter staff will use DVAM to do two things.

"Our goal is to provide awareness so the community knows of the staggering (local domestic violence) statistics," she said. "We also want people to know where they can go for help if they are a victim or where to find help if they know someone who needs help," she said.

While the shelter's goals are two-fold, Butler said staff is also hoping area residents will participate in two ways. First, by increasing their own knowledge about domestic violence. Second, by taking action.

"If you would like to help the family shelter by volunteering for an event, contact the office at (580) 226-3750," Butler said. "If you are a victim and in need of a safe place or services, contact the 24 Hour Crisis Hotline at (580) 226-6424.

Other events already on the shelter's DVAM calendar include:

n "Light Up the Night" — throughout the month FSSO staff will "light up" residential yards throughout the community with glow-in-the-dark signs

n Love County Candlelight Vigil 6 p.m. Oct. 7 at Marietta High School Auditorium

n FSSO Food Drive — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 11 at Walmart Super Center. Items needed include: boxed spaghetti, pancake mix, hamburger helper, boxed macaroni and cheese, sugar, coffee creamer, flour, salt, pepper, baking soda, baking powder, soup, cereal, tea, water, paper goods, ziploc bags, hygiene products, Clorox wipes, Lysol spray, diapers, pullups, wipes, laundry soap, and other non-perishable food items.