EL CENTROâ€”Every October for the past twelve years during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, there has been a March against Domestic Violence to remember its victims and to celebrate its survivors.Â And that tradition continues this year.Â WomanHaven, d.b.a. Center for Family Solutions, will hold this yearâ€™s March on Wednesday, October 21st.Â Â The public is invited to gather at 5:15pm at the Courthouse steps, listen to the testimonials by survivors of domestic violence, join in the processional March, and stand together as a community against domestic violence.
â€œThis annual event helps us raise awareness of domestic violence in our community,â€ said Gina Vargas, Center for Family Solutions Executive Director. â€œBy hearing these testimonies and being among victims of domestic violence, the public can gain an understanding of these issues and how it affects men, women and children in our community. Â By marching together, we show our solidarity with both victims and survivors.â€
The organization provides shelter to women and their children who have been traumatized by domestic violence. Â One client, referred to as â€œSaraâ€ for confidentiality purposes, first came to the shelter as a client in 2012.Â Â But after returning to her offender, Sara soon found herself suffering additional emotional, financial and physical abuse which prompted her to return to the shelter once again this year. Â This time around, she hopes to break free from domestic violence and become independent. With the help of her case manager and the shelter supervisor, Sara has set goals for herself to do just that.Â â€œMy goal is to get my own place and stay single. I want to work on myself and on being a good mom, I want to be independentâ€ Sara said.Â â€œThis time I have my son with me [at the shelter]. He motivates me to stick with it and not go backâ€.
The event is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. at the Imperial County Superior Courthouse steps and will end at Town Square Park, located at 7th and Main Street where resource tables will be provided with information on domestic violence, and entertainment by the Central Union High School Marching Band. Â The event will include free T-shirts while supply lasts, and free popcorn and hotdogs to attendees.