Purple ribbons honor domestic violence victims

Jeannette Ross photos

Seven Wilton High School students gathered on the town green Tuesday, Oct. 10, to tie 103 purple ribbons to trees in town. The ribbons represent the number of domestic incident calls Wilton police have responded to from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.

The students were all member of the Teen PeaceWorks club at the high school: co-presidents Johanna Griep and Daniella Chavez, Rachel Boal, Lauren McNamara, Justin Rosenthal, Macaire McNamara, and Allison Farago.

PeaceWorks is a prevention education project of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) that provides school programs focused on peaceful conflict resolution, recognizing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships, and recognizing and reducing aggression, antisocial behavior, bullying, harassment and intolerance. The club works with Wilton’s Domestic Violence Task Force, chaired by Jennifer McNamara.

While many of the students in the club joined because they heard of it from friends, they all agreed its mission was a good cause.

“Not enough people know about it,” Rachel said of domestic violence.”

“We all think it’s a problem,” Daniella said. “We have 103 bows, one for every domestic violence victim. It’s kind of a big idea.”

Johanna said she saw a documentary about “different domestic violence cases in Connecticut. I didn’t expect Wilton to show up, but it did. “It’s so important we raise awareness.”

“This is an issue people need to know about,” Lauren, a ninth grader, said. “People need to know how widespread it is … what women, men, and children go through.”

“We hope we can make a difference in Wilton,” Macaire said.

The 103 incidents over the past year in Wilton include 38 family violence incidents and an additional 65 domestic-related incidents.

The Teen PeaceWorks club will continue its work with a fund-raising bake sale at the Village Market on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14-15, from 10 to 2.

First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice will deliver a town proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Monday, Oct. 16, at 10:30 at town hall.

That is also the kick-off for Restaurant week and on Monday all participating restaurants will donate a percentage of the day’s proceeds to the DVCC.  Open House Gift Shop and B Chic will also participate.