By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – On a very chilly evening, Oct. 24, representatives from ADVISE (Against Domestic Violence in Shrewsbury Education,) elected officials, community leaders and others came together on Shrewsbury’s Town Common to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Notable attendees included Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, State Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury), State Rep. Hannah Kane (R- Shrewsbury), Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen Chair John Lebeaux and Selectmen Moe DePalo and Beth Casavant.
The goal of ADVISE is to break the cycle of domestic violence by working together with the community, through education, intervention, and support.
“ADVISE was started in 1990, 28 years ago, by a group of Shrewsbury citizens concerned that people who were experiencing domestic violence did not have much support in the community…but, because of ADVISE’s work we now have domestic violence victims’ advocates in the court house, liaisons in the police department and the schools regularly have sexual assault, dating violence and domestic violence programming,” stated ADVISE Chair Julie Nason, in her opening remarks.
“Sadly, and tragically, sexual assault and domestic violence are still tolerated, accepted, and explicitly endorsed, and that is why we are still here 28 years later because it is more important than ever to talk about the horror and criminality of sexual assault and domestic violence in the public sphere…” she continued.
Her remarks were followed by a very moving and poignant candle-lighting and bell ringing ceremony in remembrance of those that have been lost. ADVISE members Joanne Tyndall, Janet Trippi, Dee Jenkins and Michael Tozeski read the names of the 12 women and one man who lost their lives through domestic violence in the commonwealth so far this year.
As the names were read, a candle was lit and a chime was rung.
“If there is any time the time is now to have a much more public conversation about domestic violence. No one suffering in this way should feel silenced, they should feel very supported in this commonwealth, listened to, heard and helped to get the support that they need,” Polito said.
Moore, Kane and Christine Mowry, Executive Director of Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, also each provided brief remarks.
The ADVISE Hotline, 508-842-0056
Saheli (Advocacy for South Asian Women), 1-866-4SAHELI (1-866-472-4354)
National Domestic Violence Hotline), 1-800-799-7233
YWCA Daybreak, 508-755-4030
Abby’s House, 508-756-5486
Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, 508-845-6932