Domestic violence has become prevalent in America. Three out of four Americans personally know someone or have been a victim of domestic violence, as reported by the Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence, one of many agencies reporting the prevalence and severity of family violence.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence found that approximately 2.3 million people each year in the United States are physically assaulted or raped by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. To put this figure into perspective, 2.3 million was the estimated population of the Wasatch Front in 2009 by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In an effort to raise awareness of violence in our communities, the Young Woman’s Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.) of Salt Lake City will be holding an awareness campaign, “Week Without Violence” from Oct. 18th to the 23rd. The “Week” is designed to educate and generate reflective discussions within the community.
The Y.W.C.A. is a non-profit organization that provides crisis shelters, temporary housing, and supportive services for victims of family violence. Serving over 8,000 victims annually, the 104-year old association is dedicated to eliminating racism as well as empowering women. The group also works to promote peace, justice, and freedom for all people.
Violence affects us in our communities, men and women, and especially children. The National Network to End Domestic Violence also found that children who are exposed to violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse alcohol and drugs, and run away from home.
The “Week Without Violence” schedule of events includes daily programs and invites participation of members within the community, young and old.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank will be honored on Wednesday morning, Oct. 19th by the Y.W.C.A. Burbank will be recognized as the organization’s Public Official of the Year at an appreciation breakfast at the Episcopal Church Center of Utah.
Two events are planned for Thursday during the “Week Without Violence.” Gardens of daffodils are to be planted along the City and County Buildings downtown from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., in honor of those killed last year by gun violence. Starting at noon until 10 p.m., Noodles and Co., located on 358 South and 700 East, will be holding a fundraiser. 25 percent of the sales will go directly to the Y.W.C.A. and its supportive services.
An art exhibition featuring the works of Cat Palmer and Peter Hayes is scheduled for Friday evening. To close out the campaign, the YWCA has scheduled their “Walk Against Violence” 1K and 5K events on Saturday. Members of the community are invited to register online for the walk, which will be held at Liberty Park beginning at 9:00 a.m.
The YWCA’s “Week Without Violence” public awareness campaign is intended to bring to light the effects of violence in our neighborhoods.