Today: Feb 27, 2024

New Haven advocates walk to support domestic violence victims

Robin Glynn – News Writer

The warm weather and clear skies brought people of all ages together at East Rock Park on Saturday morning; people who were geared up to walk in the name of domestic violence victims.

Participants in the event walked down Orange Avenue in New Haven on Oct. 6, as adults and children held signs telling the stories of domestic abuse victims.

The event was hosted by the Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis, Inc., whose mission is to not only prevent child abuse, neglect and victimization but to also serve those affected by providing home visits and outreach, parenting education, family strengthening activities, counseling and advocacy to children and adults, according to the site. The CCCC envisions a safe family and community environment for all: free of abuse, neglect and violence.

For many, such as victims’ advocate, Christina Parillo, who also works with Neighborhood Advocacy Programs, the event was just another way to show her support.

“We do safety planning, court advocacy, domestic violence education and in-home visits,” said Parillo.

Jackie Farrell, assistant director for the CCCC, said that the focus of the group is to promote safety inside families and any place that is a child’s environment.

“We try to ensure safety of victims and how children are affected,” said Farrell. “A child who witnesses domestic violence is at a greater risk for child abuse.”

The CCCC offers free, confidential services; programs are aimed at helping victims and children. The CCCC has also partnered with the New Haven Police Department, where advocates are available at its police station.

New Haven Police Chief, Dean Esserman wants the police to have a community-based approach and says the community should know and trust detectives who are assigned to those particular areas.

“We work for the people and families of New Haven,” said Esserman. “When you need us, we are there.”

The CCCC was founded in 1977. It was established to address the lack of adequate, coordinated direct services for children and families at risk of abuse or neglect. According to Farrell, in 2011 the CCCC serviced 1,400 families in the Greater New Haven area. While the majority of victims the CCCC sees are women, the organization stands up for all victims. Their services are free and confidential, and they include helping abused children through counseling, education and prevention services.

“I look forward to a day when a child grows up in a home with no violence,” said Farrell.

Many of Saturday’s walkers believe that no woman or man should live in fear of their significant other.

Amarilis Lopez, a supporter and fellow walker said her presence was for all those who have been injured or died due to domestic violence.

“We want to make people aware of issues,” said Lopez. “People are naive about it.”

At the CCCC event, coordinator Farrell read a speech from victim Ariella Sanchez, who said her husband treated her with no respect and accused her of abusing their children by not giving them food.

“There will always be someone to help,” wrote Sanchez. “Fight to the end and don’t lose hope.”

According to Southern’s Women’s Center, an estimated 40,000 incidents of battering occur each year in Connecticut and there are an estimated 28 million battered women in the United States—more than half of all married women in the country.

“I wanted to stand up for domestic violence,” said Kimberly Hoang, an East Haven High School student. “It is important to stand for people who can not do it for themselves.”

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