The Center for Family Justice, with the support of community leaders and law enforcement in the six communities it serves, is hosting a series of vigils to mark the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
These seven vigils honor those who have been impacted by intimate partner violence; raise awareness and inspire hope that the cycles of violence can be broken.
The vigils also remind local residents that domestic violence homicides—with a total of nine in Connecticut so far this year—are a problem in every demographic and community in the state and region.
Each vigil will include a solemn reading of the names of the people who lost their lives to domestic violence in Connecticut in 2018 and so far in 2019.
The 2019 vigil schedule is as follows:
- Tuesday, October 1: Bridgeport Police Headquarters, Bridgeport
- Thursday, October 3: University of Bridgeport Student Center
- Tuesday, October. 8: Easton Community Center Gazebo
- Tuesday, October 15: Stratford Town Hall Green
- Wednesday, October 16: Monroe Town Hall Gazebo
- Thursday, October 17:: Community Room, Trumbull Library
- Tuesday, October 22: Fairfield’s Sherman Green Gazebo.
Debra A. Greenwood, CFJ’s President and CEO, joins police chiefs and community leaders in each town to speak to their hope that the statistics on domestic violence can improve with continued dedication to protecting victims and educating the public about prevention.
“This has been a particularly challenging year for those of us who care about victims of intimate partner violence,” said Greenwood. “Sadly, we have had several domestic violence homicides in recent months– as well as a high profile missing person’s case in New Canaan– that have put a spotlight on just how insidious and dangerous intimate partner abuse can be in the lives of victims.”
Greenwood noted recent cases involving the August murder of Meriden mother Perrie Mason; the murder of Chesire mother Monica Dominguez and the case of missing mother New Canaan mother-of-five Jennifer Dulos, in which police have said violence is suspected and her estranged husband has been implicated on charges related to her disappearance, have highlighted that domestic violence has multiple victims. “We continue to be concerned about the amount of domestic violence taking place in homes where children are present and witness to this horrific acts,” Greenwood said. “Domestic violence causes residual trauma that can impact its primary and secondary victims for generations.”
Greenwood noted the vigils also serve the purpose of allowing victims to know that at CFJ there is a safe place, close to home, where they can receive free and comprehensive services to help them lead lives free of trauma and abuse. These services include free counseling, emergency shelter, 24/7 crisis hotlines and civil legal services. “Every year, I hear a story at a vigil from someone in attendance who feels compelled to come forward with their experiences with domestic violence because of the support they feel at our vigils,” Greenwood said. “That tells me how important it us for us to gather together to demonstrate that there is entire community behind them ready of offer its support.”
CFJ’s vigils begin at 6 p.m., and are appropriate for all ages and open to the public. Members of the press are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Please follow CFJ’s social media channels (Facebook/Twitter) or visit its website CenterforFamilyJustice.org for updates on rain locations.
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR FAMILY JUSTICE
The Center for Family Justice Inc. (formerly The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County Inc.), brings all domestic, sexual and child abuse services – crisis intervention, police, prosecutors, civil/legal providers, counseling – under one roof, in our headquarters in Bridgeport, CT. Together, we work to break the cycle of violence by helping those in crisis restore their lives. Although our name has changed, we continue with the work we have provided for 12 decades, providing free, confidential, bilingual crisis services in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. It is the comprehensive services our partners are providing that are streamlining the road to healing and self-sufficiency.
Within the past year, The Center answered more than 1000 calls on a 24-hour crisis hotline; assisted with the civil and criminal court processes for more than 2,500 survivors of domestic violence; responded to more than 500 survivors of sexual assault and their families; provided a safe home for more than 100 women and children fleeing domestic abuse; coordinated the investigations of more than 170 cases of child sexual and severe physical abuse, developing service plans for the young survivors and their families; and provided psycho-educational support to more than 1,200 survivors of domestic violence, planning for their safety and promoting self-sufficiency.
As part of our mission, The Center educates approximately 4,000 members of the community about the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse to prevent future violence and spread the word that about the services we offer at The Center for Family Justice. Annually, we teach more than 2,000 children and teens about building healthy relationships, bullying prevention and dating violence.
For more information, visit www.CenterForFamilyJustice.org.