Crosses draw attention to domestic violence

Caring House display in IM remembers the lives lost, calls for a search for answers

(Marguerite Lanthier/Daily News photo) Community representatives gather at First Covenant Church in Iron Mountain where crosses are displayed to raise awareness of domestic violence. From left, front, are Jodie Montgomery, Donna Fayas Johnson and Angie Kurtz of Caring House; Director Brandon Rutter, Kingsford Public Safety; Director Ed Mattson, Iron Mountain Police Department; Jordan Sleeter, IMPD; Karla Lehmann, Child Advocacy Center, Caring House; Cheryl O’Neil, director, Caring House; Angela Applecamp, Dickinson-Iron District Health Department and Caring House board member; Selena Gomez, Caring House; Ziggy Zychowski, president of Long Riders; Mike Bronzyk, head of committee; Judge Tom Slagle; Marti Swisher, Caring House. In the second row are Lt. Jeremy Hauswirth, Michigan State Police; Judge Julie LaCost; Bob Sauld, Caring House Board chair; Teresa Cornelia and Elizabeth Hehn, Kenneth James Salon; Heidi Ford, Friend of Court; Kristin Kass, Dickinson County prosecutor; Adam Ray, IMPD; Brady McDonald, IMPD; Pastor Chad Harrison, First Covenant Church; Chief Patrick Wilky, Norway Police Department; Aaron Rochon, Dickinson County undersheriff; Judge Chris Ninomyia; Jeff Solka, IMPD; Tom Hinds, vice president, Long Riders; John Koehler, Results Broadcasting and Caring House Advisory Board member; and Matt Brouillette, KPS.

IRON MOUNTAIN — Caring House is displaying crosses that represent the number of deaths due to domestic violence in the state in one year.

“The display gives our community the opportunity to remember the lives lost, search for answers and raise awareness so that domestic violence is no longer tolerated in our communities,” said Cheryl O’Neil, Caring House executive director.

Each day in the U.S., three women are murdered by a current or former intimate partner, according to Bureau of Justice statistics. One in five homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner and over half of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by a current or former male intimate partner.

The annual National Network to End Domestic Violence report details the unfortunate fact that in Michigan there were 53 domestic violence deaths for one year, averaging more than one death per week, ranging from babies to senior citizens.

“For every homicide counted in this report, there are many thousands of domestic violence victims who, while thankfully still alive, continue to live with the terror of domestic violence,” O’Neil said.

This year’s Domestic Awareness Month theme is “Every Child Deserves a Safe Home.”

About 5 million children witness domestic violence each year in the U.S. Children from homes with violence are more likely to experience significant psychological problems.


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