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October 9, 2012

Memorial Park to bear witness to silent victims

DUNCAN — In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Women’s Haven will once again be setting up a Silent Witness display Wednesday in Memorial Park.

Silent Witness program, which is a nationwide initiative is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Previously, this display was set up at Kiddieland in Fuqua Park. This year it will be set up across the street in Memorial Park on the corner to the south of the Earle P. Halliburton statue.

“It honors the victims of domestic violence murders,” said Penny Gardner, Women’s Haven director. “They are silhouette forms of baby carriages, children, women and men with a story on them about the person they represent.”

Some of these stories are about innocent bystanders who got caught in a domestic violence situation such as friends and children. It’s a somber reminder of what domestic violence can lead to.

This program helps break the silence of domestic violence by spreading the word about the problem and how it can all end if not handled correctly. Several Women’s Haven representatives will be available to hand out brochures and answer questions.

An agency of the United Way of Stephens County, Women’s Haven receives more than 500 crisis calls through their hotline and help more than 200 women and children by either shelter or advocacy services every year.

Additionally, the agency assisted 23 women in obtaining protective orders through the courts last year and there were 49 group sessions for men who were court ordered to attend the Batterer’s Intervention program that they facilitate. DVAM is an effort to get those numbers down, not only in the county but the country.

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