Tonawanda News

The Town

September 28, 2012

Event seeks to end abuse


Tonawanda News —

Mary Travers Murphy runs the Family Justice Center of Erie County, a collaboration of 13 partner agencies that provides safety planning, counseling and other vital services to thousands of victims of domestic violence seeking to escape a violent relationship. Saturday's event will leave many of those individuals an avenue to heal. 

“The Wisniewski family is still grief stricken," she said. "But they are determined to re-write the ending of someone else’s story by speaking publicly and letting victims know they do not have to suffer alone or in silence." 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said community involvement is important in drawing attention to the issue, with the event kicking off the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. 

"The problem of domestic violence needs to be faced head on," he said in a statement. 

Becker said the initiative began after Aasiya Hassan was beheaded by her estranged husband inside their Orchard Park television studio in in 2009. Members of Western New York's Muslim community also will be in attendance, while internationally recognized human rights expert Dr. Shanaz Tejani-Butt will be the keynote speaker and will discuss how the community can tackle domestic violence. 

The event also will feature testimonial from a survivor of domestic violence. 

Registration is available online at Riders and walkers also can register the day of the event. The fee is $10 for ages 12 and up, $5 for children under 12, and $25 for a family of four.

More information for reporters on how to cover sensitive domestic violence stories is available on the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence website.

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.

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