Agencies, Survivors Mark October As Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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NEW BRUNSWICK — The New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women along with its member agencies, advocates and survivors in the fight to end domestic violence will come together at Rutgers University, Brower Commons, on Oct. 13 in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The event will feature “Baring Our Soles,” a special display using shoes to tell stories of suffering and survival.

Each October since 1987, Domestic Violence Awareness Month unites people across the nation to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived, and reaffirm their commitment to end violence against women and their children.

This year, representatives of agencies from all 21 counties in New Jersey will gather from noon until 2 p.m. at Rutgers University, outdoors at Brower Commons, 145 College Avenue, New Brunswick. Each will bring an artistic display created by survivors of domestic violence, incorporating shoes as a means of portraying their experiences of abuse at the hands of a loved one.

“This personal, visual journey represents the beginning steps towards healing from abuse. Our shoes represent us; they speak out about us and tell our stories,” said Sandy Clark, Executive Director of the Coalition. “Shoes can offer support, a sense of power, frailness and fragility. By choosing shoes that most represent us we explore and share the internal emotional connections that set us on our own personal journey. ”

Invited speakers include Senator Loretta Weinberg; Ruth Anne Koenick, Director of the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance at Rutgers University; Commissioner Allison Blake, of the Department of Children and Families; Kristin Bixby, President of the NJ Coalition for Battered Women and domestic violence advocates and survivors.

In addition to the ceremony at Rutgers, many domestic violence agencies will be conducting their own observances for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, including local “Baring Our Soles” exhibits and candlelight vigils to memorialize those who have died as a result of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence affects every segment of society,” said Sandy Clark, “but too often, and still today, it’s kept hidden behind closed doors because of fear, shame, or embarrassment. Our hope is to have this event raise public awareness – especially for those women and children who are at risk of becoming the next victims. We will have information available for those in need.”

For more information and to check for weather cancellation on the day of the event, call the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women at 1-609-584-8107 or go to their website

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