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Domestic Violence Awareness Events Dedicated to Early-'80s Victim

Oct. 1, 2006 — The St. Croix Women's Coalition is determined that Petra Warren's memory will live on. They have dedicated this year's Take Back the Night march and candlelight vigil to Warren, a victim of domestic violence who died in the early 1980s.
"She is not forgotten," said Clema Lewis, Women's Coalition co-director. Dedicating the march to Warren's memory helps the community remember all the past victims of domestic violence, she said.
"We need to remember those who died and give support to survivors who escaped domestic violence in their household," Lewis said.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month across the Virgin Islands and nationwide. The Women's Coalition joins with the Family Resource Center, The Safety Zone, Legal Services and other agencies to raise community awareness.
A myriad of issues can arise in the wake of domestic violence, one of which surfaces in court during custody battles, Lewis explained. She said courts often take into account that victims are sometimes less able to give their children a better life than the perpetrators, who may have better resources.
To combat this trend, the coalition is sponsoring an informational movie and discussion on the legal issues of custody battles. The event will take place at the UVI Cafetorium on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 7 to 9 p.m. Attorneys and other experts will lead the discussion.
Lewis urged community members to keep in mind that domestic violence exists in all forms.
The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC) coordinates Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Its agencies provide service to victims of domestic violence and raise community awareness. DVSAC agencies include Legal Services of the V.I., Human Services, Department of Justice, VIPD, U.S. Attorney's Office, V.I. CARE, the Village Partners in Recovery, Family Resource Center, Women's Coalition, Safety Zone and the Men's Coalition.
Domestic Violence Awareness Activities on St. Croix
Friday, Oct. 6 — Purple Ribbon night at Divi Carina Bay Casino, 8 p.m. to midnight.
Saturday, Oct. 14 and 28 — Shelter "Wish List" Project. Women's Coalition volunteers will be available at Plaza Extra supermarket east and Kmart west from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to distribute wish lists and purple ribbons, and to collect items to help victims and their children.
Thursday, Oct. 19 — Take Back the Night march and candlelight ceremony, 6 to 8 p.m. The event starts at the Frederiksted Fish Market and proceeds to Buddhoe Park. This year's march is in memory of Petra Warren. Organizers ask participants to wear purple and bring a friend and a candle. Rain date: Thursday, Oct. 26.
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 7 to 9 p.m. UVI Cafetorium — Movie and discussion of legal issues.
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