Braddock District residents and local officials came together Thursday for a fundraising event to raise awareness about the repercussions of domestic violence in Fairfax County.
The event, which was hosted by Braddock District Supervisor John Cook at Kilroy’s in Springfield, featured live music and raffle prizes for items such as movie tickets or admission passes for wine tasting events.
“It’s really about spreading awareness, bringing attention to the issue. People who you wouldn’t suspect could be suffering from domestic violence, so it’s important. We all need to be aware of it,” said Fairfax County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Executive Director Lisa Banks.
Approximately 57 percent of homicides in Fairfax County are domestic violence related, according to the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT) 2012 Annual Report (PDF) that suggested recommendations after reviewing domestic violence related homicides in 2009. About 25 percent of those homicides involved children. Firearms were used in 63 percent of the homicides, while strangulation accounted for 25 percent of the homicides, the report states.
“Those are some pretty scary statistics. Those are things we want to address and make sure that those things don’t continue to happen in Fairfax County,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova during her remarks at the fundraiser.
Banks estimates about 65 percent of the children CASA works with are exposed to domestic violence. That statistic is just one of the reasons why Cook reached out to CASA, along with Shelter House, a non-profit that operates Artemis House, a 34-bed emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, to co-sponsor Thursday’s fundraiser.
The issue of domestic violence in Fairfax County is one that Cook is familiar with due to his role as the liaison for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Prevention, Policy, and Coordinating Council (DVPPCC). The DVPPCC works with the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Network, community leaders and residents in order to develop programs, legislation and other responses to domestic violence in Fairfax County.
“Cook is who we consider the champion around the issue of domestic violence,” said Joe Meyer, Deputy Executive Director for Shelter House. “We were happy to partner with him for such a great cause.”
Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, Fairfax County will host another fundraising event at Buffalo Wing Factory located at 67 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy. in Chantilly on Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/domesticviolence.