By Aimee YEGHIAYAN
With a backdrop of candles and silhouettes of a few who did not survive, the YWCA, in collaboration with the Commission on the Status of Women, remembered the victims of domestic violence at their annual candlelight vigil held at the YWCA facility in Glendale on Oct. 17.
The event included a testimonial from domestic violence survivor and past client of the YWCA domestic violence program Joanne Meraz. Meraz told the story of her struggle and how she broke through with her son, giving both of them the second chance they deserved. The vigil also included a recitation of a poem written by a domestic violence survivor helped by the YWCA before the lighting of the candles and a moment of silence.
“We appreciated the attendance at our event [by] our Mayor Quintero, city council members Laura Friedman and Ara Najarian, as well as a certificate presented in person from Assembly Member Mike Gatto to both the YWCA and Commission on the Status of Women [and from] representatives of Senator Liu’s and Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s office,” said Lisa Raggio, senior director at the YWCA of Glendale. “Furthermore, we applaud the support of Chief of Police Ron DePompa who gave an update on the success of the city’s police department’s strategies for lowering domestic violence. [We] appreciated the attendance of other police officers and Glendale Explorers that attended the event.”
This year, the YWCA kicked off October – Domestic Violence Awareness Month – with its first ever, online Financial Literacy Campaign for economic advancement. Studies have shown that those who financially depend on their abusers have a higher rate of returning to their abuser. The campaign raises money to educate women to keep themselves financially independent. The campaign led up to the vigil and continues through the month with many sponsors throughout the community including Sen. Carol Liu’s Pathways program, Avon and The Joint.
“In the future, we see the vigil as giving us greater opportunities to promote domestic violence awareness and education, as well as [give] an opportunity for advocacy groups such as the brand new YWCA group on the Glendale College campus and Soroptimist International of Glendale to promote our cause, mission and vision.”
For domestic abuse hotline and
information, visit www.cvweekly.com and click on Hotline.