Community members gathered for the 26th Annual Walk Against Domestic Violence and the 21st Annual Unity Day event on Friday.
Participants walked from the Northwest Arena down Third Street to City Hall where a ceremony was held.
Project Crossroads Victim Service Coordinator Caylee Shelters said the event is held in part because October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, “Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first day of Unity in October 1981, which was observed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates from across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. This Day of Unity soon became an entire week, devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national levels.”
Shelters said that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate in who it affects and it happens everywhere including Chautauqua County, “These victims and survivors are siblings, our family members, and close friends. Domestic violence affects all of us – every family, every work place, every community. Each one of us has a role to play in stopping domestic violence. We are here today to remember all women, men, and children who have died as a result of domestic violence; celebrate those who have survived, and bring everyone together in our community to raise awareness.”
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist shared that domestic violence calls are some of the top calls for service for the Jamestown Police Department and that county wide there are an average of 3,200 cases of domestic violence each year.
The ceremony also honored Crystal Duffy with the Unity Day Honoree Award. Duffy is a Victim Service Provider in the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office.
The award is given to an individual who exemplifies what it means to support survivors of physical and sexual abuse.