Mayor’s Message: National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Across the country, families and friends of victims have gathered during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to remember and honor their loved ones who have lost their lives at the hands of a person they once loved and trusted

In 1989, Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has been passed each subsequent year. Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” first held in October 1981 and was conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Across the country, families and friends of victims have gathered during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to remember and honor their loved ones who have lost their lives at the hands of a person they once loved and trusted. Shelters and local programs raise awareness about the crime of domestic violence in their communities, and local governments recognize our collective efforts to end violence.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Samost Jewish Family and Children’s Services Project SARAH (Stop Abusive Relationships At Home) will present an evening with Lockey Maisonneuve, the author of A Girl Raised by Wolves. The program will be on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Katz Jewish Community Center, 1301 Springdale Road in Cherry Hill. The event is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is preferred at www.jfcssnj.org/sarah.

A Girl Raised by Wolves is the inspirational memoir of a survivor of the darkest circumstances one can endure, a survivor who merges with her sense of humor intact to defiantly proclaim, “They didn’t break me”. Lockey is a modern-day heroine who remains standing under unimaginable circumstances. Lockey is committed to supporting others on their healing journeys. Her unique experiences lend her the credibility to teach mindfulness skills to incarcerated men and women, individuals in drug recovery, mental patients and students. Lockey knows firsthand that healing trauma is not a “one-and-done” event.

Project SARAH gives compassionate and confidential assistance to women, men and children who have been affected by domestic violence or intimate partner abuse. SARAH offers mental health counseling, case management, legal resource referrals, guidance in finding safe shelter and emergency financial assistance. For more information, visit www.jfcssnj.org/programs-and-services.

**On Thursday, Oct. 17, The Camden County Partnership for Children will be conducting the Annual Countywide Community Resource Fair at the Voorhees Town Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.The goal of the event is to bring awareness to mental health and social service agencies in our community. This year, over 160 agencies are registered. The event is free and open to the public. For more information,email www.adipietro@camdencmo.org.

** On Monday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m., Voorhees Township will honor those who have worn the uniform of the United States Military with the addition of 38 new members to our Veterans Wall of Honor. This year, a POW/MIA Chair of Honor will be added in the Veterans Hall honoring service members who were prisoners of war and those missing but not forgotten. The program will be heldin the Main Court area on the lower level of the Voorhees Town Center. The Wall of Honor is located in Town Hall. We will always be thankful to those who protected our freedom.

** Voorhees Township’s Annual Halloween Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Voorhees Town Center. Take an old-fashioned hayride or pick a pumpkin from the Voorhees Business Association’s Pumpkin Patch. Candy and refreshments will be plentiful. Activities will include a Halloween Costume Parade, pumpkin painting and decorating, balloon artists, a Halloween themed magic show and face painting. The Voorhees Township Police Department will be providing Halloween safety tips. For more information, visit www.voorheesnj.com or call (856) 882-SHOW.

** The Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation will hold its 17th Annual Birthday Bash on Friday, Nov. 1 from 6:30 p.m. until midnight at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin. The Foundation furnishes Teen Lounges in hospitals to enhance the quality of life for teens with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Tickets are $170. For more information, call (856) 784-0615 or visitinfo@arvf.org.