Silent Witnesses vigils set in Sequim, P.A.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. To mark the event, Healthy Families of Clallam County will host a "Silent Witness Vigil" in Sequim, Thursday. Oct. 21.

The vigil includes an exhibit of 30 life-size cut-outs of the human form, which will be placed at the corner of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The figures represent some of those lost this year to domestic violence, with details of the various tragedies as part of the display.

At noon Healthy Families will host a display of the colors by the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps from Port Angeles High School, followed by a keynote speech by Sequim Police Detective Sean Madison.

Following the speech, Health Families Executive Director Becca Korby will award the organization's 2010 Gratitude award to Soroptimist International - Sequim.

The Gratitude Awards are given to honor those who provide service to victims of domestic violence.

On the rise

The exhibit and awards are all part of a larger effort to highlight the growing issue of domestic violence. Korby provided statistics showing Washington had 76 fatalities resulting from domestic violence between July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010. The previous year there were 44 during that period.

That's an increase of 58 percent, Korby noted.

Among the deaths: eight men, 37 women, 24 abuser-suicide (defined as suicide by police, or after abusing someone else), three children and four unborn children.

Those who cannot attend the Sequim event can attend the Port Angeles vigil Wednesday, Oct. 20. The exhibit will be open in The Gateway from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Mark Bauman will give the keynote speech at noon, followed by the presentation of the Port Angeles Gratitude awards.

The exhibit also will be available for viewing from

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, at Peninsula College.

Healthy Families of Clallam County assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and works to reduce instances of these crimes as well as child abuse.

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