In October 1987 the first first national toll-free domestic violence hotline was established to help victims escape
violent relationships and find resources in their own communities to help them establish a new life. Two years later, Congress passed legislation designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, urging communities to help find ways to combat the problem. This year, the cities of Lakewood and University Place continue that work by organizing two separate awareness events.
In Lakewood, more than 300 American flags will be placed on a grassy space next to City Hall to honor those Washington residents who have lost their lives to family
violence since 1997. The
“Domestic Violence Healing Field” is sponsored by Lakewood Partnership Against Domestic Violence (LPADV)
and the Business Masters Exchange Club of Pierce County. The flags will go up on Oct. 3 and remain until Oct. 5.
A brief dedication ceremony wll be held at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Council Chambers. Lew Cox,
director of Violent Crime Victim Services, a non-profit group supporting victims in Lakewood and across the state will
be the guest speaker. A procession to the Healing Field will occur
after the 30 minute program with additional “Silent Witness” displays detailing victims and health care workers’ personal experiences with domestic violence marking the way through the procession.
To raise funds for the LPADV,
the beautiful, full-size all-weather American flags from the Healing
Field are available for purchase for $30. Contact the City of Lakewood for more information.
In University Place, the City Council will issue a proclamation renewing the city’s commitment to fighting domestic violence and supporting community efforts like the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence. The city will also air a half-hour program on its television station, UPTV, during the month of October. The program features Ann Eft, director of the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence, and Lisa Villones, a domestic violence expert with the Tacoma/Pierce County Heath Department. For information about how you can see the program, contact the City of University Place.
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