Independence House Raises Awareness of Domestic Violence with Annual Breakfast

HYANNIS – Dozens gathered in Hyannis Thursday for the Independence House Domestic Violence Awareness Month Community Breakfast.

The purpose of the 18th annual event is to educate the community about domestic violence, the prevalence of incidents, the needs of victims, and to display stories of resilience and courage.

“We definitely want to make the community aware that there needs to be no stigma with domestic violence and that if you are a victim it’s okay to come forward and that there are resources,” said Lysetta Hurge-Putnam, the Independence House Executive Director.

The theme of this year’s event was “Here My Voice” and included several powerful stories from survivors of domestic violence.

“Our hope is that someone will hear those stories, whether they be another service provider or just a neighbor and friend, and let somebody know that there is support and help available and that you can talk to someone about what actions might be available to you,” Hurge-Putnam said.

A candlelight ceremony was also held for the 12 victims in Massachusetts who died this year from incidents of intimate partner violence.

Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings said the event helps spread the message to women who are being abused that there is help out there.

Cummings echoed the thoughts of one of the women who told her story about being abused.

“It’s not going to get any better. If someone is abusing you at home it is going to continue and it is probably going to get worse,” Cummings said. “Make the move and get some help.”

The sheriff said police departments on Cape Cod have made advances in handling domestic violence cases.

“If you are in danger that is a good place to start,” he said. “They will be there for you and they will help you and they’ll make sure you get to a place like Independence House where they can give you continuing help with the issue.”

Cummings said getting help can be the difference between life and death.

He said that fortunately none of the victims in the state who died this year from domestic violence were on Cape Cod.

“That certainly is good but it doesn’t mean the problem is solved either,” Cummings said.

Independence House is a nonprofit organization which provides free and confidential specialized services and programs for children, teens, adults and the later-in-life community who are survivors of, or impacted by domestic or sexual violence.

The event at the Double Tree by Hilton was sponsored by the Cape Cod 5 Foundation.

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