Thursday, November 1, 2012

Article: Beverly acknowledges domestic violence; pays tribute to victims Read more: Beverly acknowledges domestic violence; pays tribute to victims

Beverly, Mass. — Beverly Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit paid tribute to victims of domestic violence on Monday, Oct. 22 at Beverly Common at the “Silent Witness Display.” October is widely known as breast cancer awareness month, but the month is also shared with domestic violence awareness. The moving “Silent Witness Display” features free standing, life-size wooden figures painted in red. Each one bears the name of a Massachusetts victim who once lived, worked, had neighbors, friends, family and children and whose life ended violently at the hands of an intimate partner or acquaintance. “An extra figure was added to represent those uncounted victims whose murders went unsolved or were erroneously ruled accidental,” said Tina Nieves of the Domestic Violence Unit. Moyniham Lumber donated supplies for the display and Montserrat College professor James Durrett recruited students Buddy Quinn, Ivy fowler, Emily Fung, Mirek Kutnik, Michael Parrillo and Zoey Chapin to make the figures. The 12 names displayed were of those who were killed this year from domestic violence. Under each name is a brief description of how and why they died. During the event, Candice Waldron, director of HAWC, Healing Abuse Working for Change, said, “The figures that you see here today are an example of where we as HAWC have failed. The figures you do not see are the thousands of people that we have been able to get free of domestic violence.” HAWC, formerly known as Help for Abused Women and their Children, was founded in 1978 and provides free services to victims of domestic violence residing in 23 cities and towns on the North Shore. The purpose of HAWC is to create social change by taking action against personal and societal patterns of violence and oppression. Waldron said were it not for partnerships like HAWC and Beverly Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit and community involvement there would be more casualties of domestic violence. “Being in an abusive relationship is very similar to being in a hostage situation,” Waldron said. “It takes someone on the outside to throw a lifeline into that situation so the victim can get a perspective on what is happening and talk to someone on the outside.” Waldron added isolation is the biggest weapon used by a perpetrator. Nieves said the display will make its way around the state to raise awareness and will be featured at Beverly High School in the upcoming weeks Here are some of their stories: On February 10, 2012 Lisa Stilkey, 44, of Douglas, jumped to her death from a second-story window of her home during a violent argument with her husband, Allen Stilkey, 40. It appeared she threw a pillow out the window first, in an attempt to cushion her landing. At the scene, there were signs of struggle, including wine splashed on the walls, broken glass and broken furniture. Minutes before Lisa jumped, she called her son on the phone (Allen’s stepson) to say that if she were ever found dead, Allen did it. Her son also reported overhearing Allen threatening to kill his mother while he was on the phone with her. Allen was charged with manslaughter, assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime. At the arraignment, prosecutors presented evidence that Allen had taken out a $250,000 life insurance policy on Lisa, as well as updating his passport photo just two weeks before Lisa fell to her death. On July 21, 2012, Christine Bolduc, 51, of Worcester, succumbed to brain injuries sustained 14 months prior when she was attacked by her boyfriend Robert Bell, 56. On May 3, 2011 at about 1:18 a.m. police discovered Christine’s body in an alley with apparent blunt trauma to the head. A surveillance video of the alley recorded Robert following Christine into the alley near their home and captured audio of the attack. Once discovered, Christine was taken to a city hospital where she remained in a coma on a feeding tube until her death over a year later. Robert was indicted on charges of assault with intent to murder and assault and battery causing bodily harm. The couple had been dating for six years. On August 10, 2012, Cecilia Yakubu, 58, of Malden was strangled to death by her live-in boyfriend of five years, William Bryant Moseley, 45, in their home. William called 911 to say that he had killed his wife; he was charged with murder and entered a not guilty plea. News reports stated that charges filed in August 2011 against William for punching Cecilia had been dropped in an accord and satisfaction agreement. From 1997-2007, William had served a sentence for non-fatally shooting his former wife. Beverly Police Sgt. Phil McCarthy said the display is a great way to broaden awareness of the community. “I hope next year when we come there will be none here or a lot less,” McCarthy said of the figure display.

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