NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On Saturday, October 17, the New Brunswick Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition (NBDVAC) will gather for its 14th annual Domestic Violence Survivor March and Rally.
The march is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Suydam Street Reformed Church on 74 Drift Street and will feature a variety of speakers including the Dean of Students for Rutgers Busch Campus and Chair of the New Brunswick Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition, Sandra Rocio Castro.
The event will also include remarks from survivors of domesitc violence and information for participants to get more involved in advocacy efforts for those affected by the cause.
"The overall desire for those who are a part of the NBDVAC is to eradicate domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence. Domestic violence affects all genders of people in both gay and straight communities," explained Elaine Hewins, the Domestic Violence Education and Awareness Program Coordinator at RWJUH.
While advocacy for domestic violence is always of relevance, the march comes at a time when the community needs reminding of how serious awareness is.
The NJ Coalition to End Domentic Violence (NJCEDV) reported that on Tuesday, October 13, two alleged domestic violence strangulations resulted in the unrelated deaths of David Hurley of Bayonne, and both Monika Potoczniak and her son Christopher, of Jersey City.
It has been reported that both Hurley and Potoczniak were strangled by their intimate partners.
Details of these cases are still unfolding but the need to acknowledge the severity of domestic violence stands strong.
NBVAC believes that events like the march do help spread the message to the community.
"There is more awareness of how to appropriately respond to victims and survivors of domestic violence and what services are available," said Hewwins. "There are more community-based organizations and houses of worship involved, and the students and workers are coming to training that we provide to increase their skills and knowledge."
"There is more awareness of what domenstic violence is, how prevalent it is, what the dynamics are, and the services that are available."
Since 2012, RWJUH's Domestic Violence Education and Awareness Program, in conjunction with Anna Trautwein of Saint Peter's University Hospital, has helped educate over 1,700 healthcare providers in three states on the issues on the issues of domestic violence.
NBDVAC's overall mission is to increase community awareness of domestic violence, to help prevent violence, and to connect survivors to resources in their community.
Local residents can get involved by joining NBDVAC, sponsor events at local houses of worship, schools, organizations and participate in trainings; healthy relationship workshops and the annual march and rally.
Community members can call (732) 247-2050 to find out more about upcoming community events and how to get involved.