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YWCA Utah Hosts "Week Without Violence"

Andrea Smardon

YWCA Utah is hosting events every day this week to raise awareness about domestic violence. They’re calling it the "Week Without Violence".

According to the YWCA, one in three Utah women has experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. And 28% of homeless adults in Utah are homeless as a result of domestic violence. Rene Malecki is Director of the Salt Lake area Family Justice Center.

“Domestic violence is cultivated in silence,” Malecki says. “It is important to have these events to raise community awareness of domestic violence and to raise community support to help these victims.”

Between 2000 and 2013, 43% of Utah homicides were domestic violence-related. In 2014, that rate jumped to 59 percent. That year there were 38 domestic violence-related homicides. On Thursday this week, Salt Lake City officials will join families at the Public Safety Building to plant daffodils in remembrance of those lost to gun violence. Then on Friday, the YWCA will recognize survivors of domestic violence during a celebration at the Tracy Aviary. Malecki says people need to know there is hope.

“Part of the Week Without Violence and all these campaigns and awareness events will help to let those individuals who have not sought help know where they can go to seek help,” Malecki says.

She says the YWCA helped 7500 people last year with services like shelter, housing, or assistance with a protective order or stalking injunction, but she knows there are many more out there who need help and are not getting it.

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