Domestic Violence Awareness chief

Police Chief Robert Luna brought domestic violence detective Danny Melendez and crime analyst Virginia Zart on stage last year in Belmont Shore during the Domestic Violence Awareness Day organized by WomenShelter.

For the 13th year, WomenShelter of Long Beach is hosting an event to bring awareness to the battle against domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This year's event will be at the Michelle Obama Library in north Long Beach. From 2 to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 19, "The Next Chapter: Awareness. Community. Healing." will include presentations, craft areas for children and giveaways.

“The effects of domestic violence often reach beyond the family and out into the larger community," Mary Ellen Mitchell, WomenShelter executive director, said. "By increasing awareness and conversations about domestic violence within the community, we can help victims and their families overcome barriers to accessing the help and support they need.”

Mitchell said the primary focus of Saturday's event will be raising awareness regarding domestic violence.  Attendees also will receive the information they need to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship and how to help those within their own communities who might be experiencing abuse.

Almost three out of four people personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, according to WomenShelter..  Domestic violence victims and survivors can be family members, friends, loved ones and neighbors.

"With one out of four women and one out of seven men having experienced domestic violence at some point in their life, it is important for us as a community to recognize the prevalence of domestic violence," spokesperson Letticia Settle said, "and find ways that we can lead with love by working together to advocate for change."

The event is free to participants thanks to support from Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, A Window Between Worlds, and End Abuse Long Beach. The library is at 5870 Atlantic Ave., and there is parking on site.

For more information, go to www.womenshelterlb.org, email LSettle@womenshelterlb.org, or call 562-437-7233, ext. 32.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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