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National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

BURLINGTON October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a Burlington organization, Women Helping Battered Women, has partnered with area agencies to put together a month of activities that are free and open to the public.

Activities are planned for throughout the month of October. The goal of the various events that have been organized by Women Helping Battered Women is to raise awareness of the scourge of domestic violence in the communities of Chittenden County.

Domestic violence affects the entire community, not just the individuals directly involved, said Kelly McCann, a volunteer with Women Helping Battered Women and also a member of the steering committee. The goal is to bring awareness to the community about domestic violence. We will hold a kick-off ceremony and a movie night, as well as a speak-out event. We will also have tabling on Church Street in Burlington. We want to bring complete awareness to how this affects the whole community.

On September 30, the group will hold a kick-off event at the Burlington City Hall and Unitarian Universalist Church. The event will feature Chittenden Countys State Attorney, T.J. Donovan.

Those in attendance will commit to ending domestic violence with a march down Church Street. The event also features various other speakers along with Donovan.

One of issues we plan to bring up at the Kick Off is that Burlington's housing shortage seems to be affecting women fleeing from domestic abuse, added McCann. Women Helping Battered Women has seen a threefold increase in women and children seeking shelter for 2007.

Also beginning on September 30 is the Purple Dove Campaign at the Unitarian Universalist Church where you can view a display of doves created by survivors of domestic violence.

On October 3 beginning at 6:30 p.m. is movie night at the Center for Media and Democracy located at 294 North Winooski Ave. The featured film is entitled Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying and Battering.

It illustrates the lessons about violence and masculinity our children see every day, added McCann.

For more information and a complete outline of all the events, call Jeanne at 658-3131 extension 1077 or visit www.whbw.org .

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