Hilltown Voices: Interfaith vigil on domestic violence to be held in Huntington

For the Gazette
Published: 4/29/2018 9:06:24 PM

HUNTINGTON — A vigil honoring all those who have been impacted by domestic violence will take place on Thursday in Huntington.

The event is sponsored by the Hilltown Domestic Violence Interfaith Initiative, which is supported by the Southern Hilltown Domestic Violence Task Force.

Organizers say they want to make it clear that the Hilltown faith community supports and stands ready to help anyone who faces abuse or violence.

The group points to research which says that during a trauma, people are five times more likely to seek the aid of clergy than any other profession.

“More than half of the women that work with advocates in the Hilltowns rely on their faith,” said Task Force Coordinator Monica Moran. “We can’t effectively address domestic violence in the community without collaborating with the faith community, so this is an effort to build that collaboration.”

Moran said that people who are abusive will often misuse religious texts to condone their behavior and keep those they are abusing silent.

“We encourage leaders of the faith community to say that there is nothing in their faith that condones abuse,” she said.

Last year, advocates from Hilltown Safety at Home worked with more than 75 victims and survivors of domestic violence.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average of 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

The coalition also notes that one in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. In addition they note that one in three female murder victims and one in 20 male murder victims are killed by intimate partners.

In 2002, Karen Hart from Blandford was murdered by her estranged husband, Harry Trudeau. Hart had taken out a restraining order against Trudeau, which he had violated several times before stabbing her to death and then taking his own life.

In 2012, Jessica Dana of Huntington, a 30-year-old mother of three children, was murdered by her partner, Jeb Daly, who bludgeoned and strangled Dana before attempting to hide her body in the backyard of their home. Daly was arrested and subsequently convicted of the crime.

In March of this year, the remains of Joanne M. Ringer, 39, of Clarksburg were found in Hatfield after Ringer had been missing for one year. Her husband, Charles M. Reidy, 42, considered the only suspect in Ringer’s disappearance, died of an apparent suicide shortly after her disappearance.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as “the is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.”

Thursday’s half-hour vigil will begin at 7 p.m. on the Huntington Town Greens, and will be followed by an informal gathering in Stanton Hall, adjacent to the greens.

In the event of rain, the vigil will be held in Stanton Hall.

Meltdown nets $1,463

The 2018 Goshen Meltdown has officially come to an end. The two big winners of the popular contest are Georgia McCarthy of Goshen, who won $545 and the Goshen Women’s Club, which received $918 of donations and ticket sale proceeds.

On Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall, Meltdown organizer Bob Labrie will present both McCarthy and the Women’s Club with the checks.

The money going to the Women’s Club was raised to help renovate a very outdated kitchen in the Town Hall that is used by multiple community groups.

The Meltdown is a charity event that involves purchasing tickets to guess the day and time that a 69-pound block will sink through the melting ice on Hammond pond.

Each year, a different individual group or organization is selected as the beneficiary of half of the ticket sales, and the person who comes closest to guessing the time and date the block goes down, without going over, wins the other half of the cash.

This year, the block sank on Tuesday, April 17, at 8:37 p.m.

According to Labrie, this is the second time the block as gone done on April 17, and it is the second latest date the block has sunk in the history of the 14-year contest.

“In 2015, it was April 17 as well, and that was at 4:17 a.m.,” Labrie said. “In 2017, it went down on April 21.”

Labrie said that he is always pleasantly surprised at the generosity of people participating in the event who purchase multiple tickets or simply send in donations without trying to win half of the cash.

“This year, I had 17 people just make outright donations,” he said.

A stickler for statistics, Labrie also noted that 233 people and two dogs from 82 cities in 22 states and seven countries participated in this year’s contest.

Zoning bylaw hearing

The Williamsburg Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a bylaw hearing to review a summary of changes to existing bylaws. These changes are related to accessory apartments, home occupations, lot size and frontage maintenance, and dwelling units permitted in a multi-family home.

There will also be a review of a proposed new bylaw on the regulation of marijuana businesses in the Town of Williamsburg, regarding the number of business, cultivation, testing laboratories, manufacture and sales in town.

The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Town Offices in Haydenville.

Ideas for this column on life in the Hilltowns can be sent to Fran Ryan at fryan.gazette@gmail.com.

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