‘Commit to Change’ is theme of 24th walk, vigil


Hilo’s 24th annual Domestic Violence Family Peace Walk and Vigil will be held on Oct. 19. The Family Peace Walk will start at 4:15 p.m. from the makai Bayfront soccer field parking lot, go up Pauahi Street and end at Aupuni Center.

For those who prefer not to walk, other participants will be sign-waving along Kilauea Avenue between Aupuni and Pauahi Streets during this time.

The vigil will start at 5:15 p.m. at Aupuni Center with the lighting-of-the-candle ceremony and Purple Ribbon Recognitions to those who dedicated their time and support to victims of domestic violence. The public is encouraged to attend.

This event unites the community to recognize those who lost their lives due to domestic violence and to raise community awareness and advocacy during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Congress has designated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month since 1989. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional, mental, financial and sexual abuse by an intimate partner against another.

The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime. Hawaii County accounts for about 15 percent of the state’s population, but accounts for 25 percent of the domestic abuse protective orders filed in the state.

For more information on the Family Peace Walk and Vigil or about domestic violence services, contact Tara Okutsu, Child and Family Services, at 969-7798.

This year, the Hawaii County Family Violence Interagency Committee theme for Domestic Violence Awareness Month is “Commit to Change.”

“We encourage you to consider the simple ways that you can ‘commit to change’ and help eliminate domestic violence in our community,” Okutsu said.

“Domestic violence includes intimidation, physical assault, sexual assault, verbal, financial and emotional abuse perpetrated by an intimate partner against another.

“Victims of violence by current or former husbands, boyfriends or dates lost almost 8 million days of paid work. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity.

“Educate employees about domestic violence and the community resources that are available to them. Maintain a safe and supportive work environment for employees, including secured work areas, escorting them to/from their cars and developing action plans in case their partner comes to their work place,” said Okutsu.

 

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