Rensselaer woman using purple lightbulbs to shed light on domestic violence

A woman in Rensselaer is shining a light on domestic violence this month.

Ashley Hart runs the group 2 Harts One Soul, Inc. She started it after her sister, Nikki, was killed by her boyfriend.

Hart is handing out hundreds of purple light bulbs this month for survivors to look around and know that they have support and can speak up. Her goal is to “turn the town purple” in honor of her big sister.

Nikki was a mother of two and owned a real estate company in East Greenbush. Ashley says her family had no idea what her sister was going through until it escalated, and they saw that her life was in danger.

Ashley is now on a mission to break down the idea that speaking up about what’s happening is shameful. She’s also educating others about domestic violence with turn the town purple, because she says back when her sister was killed in 2012, she didn’t know about the many local organizations helping survivors. She says she also didn’t know much about domestic violence.

"I was so naive at 26 years old of what domestic violence was. It wasn’t talked about in our home, it wasn’t talked about in school. It really is the silence that keeps it silent, and that’s what the abusers want," said Ashley.

The city of Rensselaer was considering a resolution Wednesday that would recognize that domestic violence impacts people in our community regardless of who they are or where they’re from.

They’re also lighting Rensselaer City Hall in purple all month, along with police and fire. Ashley hopes to give out as many purple lights as she can.

MORE INFORMATION: Capital Region domestic violence resources | National Coalition Against Domestic Violence