Domestic violence: Butterflies will signify hope

At the end of this month, a collection of monarch butterflies will take wing in Wilton Center, representing domestic violence victims in town. They will be released by members of the Domestic Violence Task Force and students belonging to the Teen Peace Works program at Wilton High School as part of the groups’ Healing Wings of Hope campaign.

Members of both groups have been selling “sponsorships” the past few weeks and will be at Village Market Monday, Sept. 16, from 9 to noon.

According to Jennifer McNamara, chair of the task force, individuals may sponsor a butterfly for $20. Sales will continue until Sept. 20, when Ms. McNamara must submit her butterfly order.

“The butterflies will arrive boxed in a dormant state approximately 24 hours before the date of the release, which is Sunday, Sept. 29, at 1:30,” Ms. McNamara said. “We will release them by the gazebo in town center.”

Those participating will receive a packet containing the butterflies and after a few remarks by Ms. McNamara “we will all open our packets at the same time,” she said. “From what I understand the butterflies are still a bit ‘sleepy’ so they linger and may even rest on a person or two before they take off.”

The butterflies will eventually begin a journey to Mexico, where monarchs spend the winter.

“I’m hoping this will be something we can build on and hope for a bigger turnout each year we continue to do this,” she said. After expenses for the butterflies, proceeds will be donated to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Norwalk.

After the butterflies are released, the task force and Peace Works members will tie 96 purple ribbons on trees around Wilton Center in recognition of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each ribbon represents an incident of domestic violence reported to Wilton police over the past year.

Anyone who cannot make it to the Village Market but would like to sponsor a butterfly may email Ms. McNamara at