Domestic violence vigil remembers victims and survivors

The Center for Family Justice, in cooperation with Stratford community leaders, has scheduled a vigil to mark the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

This vigil, which will take place at 6 p.m. at Stratford Town Hall, will honor those who have been impacted by intimate partner violence, raise awareness and inspire hope that the cycle of violence can be broken. The vigil also will remind local residents that domestic violence — which national statistics suggest impacts one out of three women in their lifetime — is a problem in every demographic and community CFJ serves.

The vigil will include a solemn reading of the names of the 16 people who lost their lives to domestic violence in Connecticut in 2016.

CFJ President & CEO Debra A. Greenwood will be joined by town officials, including Police Chief Joseph McNeil 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. A local survivor of domestic violence also will talk about her experiences.

“These vigils are solemn, but we also intend for them to be incredibly hopeful and inspiring,” said Greenwood. “We believe that whenever communities comes together to share their commitment to ending the cycles of domestic violence and abuse, real and positive change can and does happen.”

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. These services include free counseling and emergency shelter. “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 hold these events.”

Besides the Oct. 10 Stratford vigil, CFJ has six other vigils scheduled in the local communities it serves. Each begins at 6 p.m.

  • Monday, Oct. 2: Bridgeport Police Department
  • Tuesday, Oct. 3: Monroe Town Hall Gazebo
  • Wednesday, Oct. 4: Trumbull Library
  • Thursday, Oct. 5:  University of Bridgeport Student Center.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11: Easton Community Center Gazebo
  • Thursday, Oct. 12: Fairfield’s Sherman Green

These vigils are appropriate for all ages and are open to the public.

For more information on The Center for Family Justice Inc. (formerly The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County Inc.), visit CenterForFamilyJustice.org.

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