GREENWICH -- Over 50 people including members of the Greenwich police department, church and community services came to a domestic violence forum hosted by the YWCA of Greenwich.
The emotional affair allowed residents to discuss the effect domestic violence can have on families and the community.
“This is on everyone’s mind and everyone is being impacted and everyone is afraid and worried and concerned and we just want to create a space for people to come and talk about that,” said Meredith Gold the Director of Domestic Abuse Services at the YWCA Greenwich.
The YWCA forum gave the community a chance to discuss the raw emotions that the Jennifer Dulos missing person case has caused. The number one violent crime in Greenwich is domestic violence. The signs of which were all too apparent to some.
While police have not used the term “domestic violence”, court records show she was afraid of her husband and afraid for her safety.
“We do know that in her own words she expressed to the court that she was fearful of her husband,” said Gold. “She was afraid of retaliation. She was concerned for her own safety and the safety of her children and to us, that means it’s domestic violence.”
For many we talked to they felt Jennifer’s situation was all too common in their own community and across the country. This had some seeing themselves in Jennifer’s shoes.
“This is something that is difficult for people to identify,” said Gold. “No one likes to think of themselves as a victim or somebody that they care about is an abuser.”
For Cathy Blood, seeing Jennifer’s situation with children involved inspired her to have a talk with her own child.
“You need to recognize that you need to make sure you understand when you’re in a situation and you need to learn how to get out of it,” said Blood. “You can get into a relationship that is toxic, but if it is normal, to begin with, it becomes the norm.”
The YWCA wants people to understand that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate and is prevalent in all communities. The Greenwich YWCA offers a 24-hour domestic abuse hotline that is free and confidential.
The number is 203-622-0003. They encourage anyone who feels they are or knows someone in an abusive situation to reach out to get the help and support they deserve.