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UT Health Jacksonville is joining forces with the Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties for a mobile exhibit designed to bring awareness to domestic violence.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties constructed a display of 136 pairs of women’s shoes, representing the number of women who died in Texas in 2017 as a result of domestic violence. UT Health Jacksonville CEO DeLeigh Haley, who is president of the crisis center board, even donated some of her own high heels to the cause.

“Part of UT Health East Texas’ mission is to care for our patients, their families and each other, and this cause fits directly with our mission,” Haley said. “The unfortunate thing about domestic violence is that it is not discussed openly. We hope that by having this mobile display in a prominent location it will encourage conversation surrounding the issue.

“We want anyone who visits UT Health Jacksonville to feel free to discuss whatever they need to discuss, whether that’s at an emergency room visit or at their doctor’s office,” Haley added.

The display has spent a week at the Frankston City Park, the Rusk Courthouse Lawn and at the Dairy Queen on loop in Palestine. It will remain at UT Health Jacksonville through Oct. 27 and then be at Jacksonville College from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3.

To help spread awareness about domestic violence, people are encouraged to share photos of the display on their social media with the hashtag #DVAM for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

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