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Candlelight vigil raises awareness of domestic violence
ARLINGTON In spite of the rain, the candles stayed lit in Arlingtons Centennial Park at the Oct. 15 vigil for Domestic Violence Month.
Area residents were joined by members of community service agencies of the county in reflecting on the progress thats been made in preventing domestic violence and dealing with its consequences.
What effect have we had? said Lisa Aguilar, of the Snohomish County Center for Battered Women. More people are speaking up, so even though there hasnt been a decline in the number of domestic violence calls, it is a sign that its no longer seen as just a family matter.
Im moved by seeing the number of young men out here tonight, said Arlington resident Marty Bishop Arellano. We need men to tell other men that this is not okay. If the message is only coming from women, its not as strong.
Aguilar noted the high percentage of domestic violence that occurs among 16- to 20-year-olds, adding that shes seen domestic violence cases among 12- to 13-year-olds as children have begun dating at younger ages.
One area teenager shared the impact that domestic violence had on her family.
My family is really messed up, said the young woman, who asked not to be identified. My step-dad is a drug addict whose favorite thing to is get high and beat me and my mom. He would freak out over little things. Id toss him the remote and get a laundry basket in the back of my head. I wonder now, why did I put up with it? How many other women put up with it? One man destroyed our family.
When the teen called for more domestic violence outreach in schools, Aguilar acknowledged that schools are attempting to address a number of social concerns, ranging from bullying to drug use, but agreed that its an important issue.
Aguilar went on to cite the number of officials and agencies who have supported policies and programs to combat domestic violence, from local law enforcement agencies and human services to Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon and County Clerk candidate Sonya Kraski, who was in attendance at the candlelight vigil.