Peace House events spotlight domestic violence resources in Summit and Wasatch counties
What: Peace House Fall Festival Family Night
When: 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16
Where: Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway
Everyone knows someone who has experienced domestic violence, said Leisa Mukai, prevention and awareness coordinator at Peace House, a local nonprofit and shelter.
This is evident in the numbers.
The Utah Department of Health reports that 42 percent of all Utah homicides are related to domestic violence.
Of that number, one in four women and one of seven men will experience a violent relationship in their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“So Peace House is involved with a number of (programs) that bring awareness to the alarming statistics here in Utah, and to give people some information and help.”
Two of those events include the Fall Festival Family Night and a candlelight vigil, Mukai said.
The Fall Festival is scheduled to be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, in Midway. The vigil is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road. Both events are free and open to the public.
The festival will highlight local domestic violence resources. Participants include the Children’s Justice Center, Wasatch County Domestic Violence Coalition, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“A component of domestic violence is a mental health issue,” Mukai said. “There’s trauma and depression that just doesn’t go away. It needs treatment.”
Mary Lucero, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah, will be on hand with the organization’s mascot, Safety Saurus, who will have information about preventing child abuse. The Wasatch County Health Department has also invited Parents Empowered, a state campaign to prevent underage drinking, to the event, according to Mukai.
The goals of Peace House and of that initiative intersect.
“One of the coping mechanisms people fall back on when they are in an abusive relationship is to use drugs or alcohol,” she said.
The fall festival will not just be a gathering for education and awareness, but also for fun, Mukai said.
It will feature a photo booth, pumpkin and face painting, cookie decorating and other activities.
Otter Creek, a duo composed of Peter and Mary Danzig, is set to provide live music.
“We hope people will come and take advantage of the event and not only see what kinds of resources we have to prevent domestic violence, but also have a fun time with their families,” Mukai said.
The candlelight vigil is a more solemn event that commemorates lives lost this year so far to domestic violence.
The evening will start with a processional from 6-7 p.m. and the reading of victims’ names will start at 7 p.m.
“Five of those names that will be read are of children who range in ages four months to 13 years old,” Mukai said. “That, all by itself, is an upsetting number.”
Members of domestic violence coalitions from Wasatch and Summit counties will be in attendance, and Otter Creek will perform.
“Peter has created some special music for this event,” Mukai said.
The evening will end with light refreshments.
“We encourage the public to come out and see what kind of impact domestic violence has in our communities,” Mukai said.
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