WESTPORT — The Westport Domestic Violence Task Force (DVTF) is holding a safe house collection drive from Oct. 17 through Oct. 28 to benefit two safe houses managed by the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC). The DVCC assists families seeking refuge from domestic violence situations.

Safe houses, placed in undisclosed and secure facilities, provide shelter, meals, and basic needs to women and families seeking safer living situations. Consequently, families frequently leave their personal belongings behind in the process.

For two weeks this month, the DVTF will be collecting personal care items for women and children residing in the Domestic Violence Crisis Center’s Safe Houses, including:

• Toiletry items

• diapers size 4-5 and other baby supplies

• gift cards to drug stores or grocery stores, and

• new towels/linens.

Items can be dropped at the following locations in Westport:

• The Westport Police Station

• The Westport Fire Department

• Town Hall, Department of Human Services Room 200

• The Westport/Weston YMCA

• The Unitarian Church

• Kaia Yoga

Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence, is hurtful, repeated and intentional behavior that one person uses to maintain power and control over another in an intimate relationship. It manifests as abuse that is verbal, emotional, psychological, financial, physical and/or sexual. Domestic violence occurs in heterosexual relationships, gay and lesbian relationships and is common in teenage dating relationships. Domestic violence crosses all boundaries and can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, religion, culture, socio-economic level or educational attainment.

In 2015, Westport Police responded to 91 calls for service for domestic violence.

According to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center that services our area, nearly 10 percent of high school students have been hurt physically by a boyfriend or girlfriend. One in three teens reports knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped or physically hurt by a partner. One in four teens in a relationship say they have been called names, harassed or put down by their partner through cell phones and texting.

For more information about the Domestic Violence Crisis Center services, go to www.dvccct.org or call 203-853-0418. To get help call the DVCC 24 HOUR HOTLINE at 888-774-2900

Questions about Westport’s Domestic Violence Task Force may be directed to Jillian Cabana at 203-341-6009 or JCabana@westportct.gov or learn more on our facebook page Westport Domestic Violence Task Force (DVTF).