On the evening of October 20, the Center on Domestic Violence held its 10th Anniversary Celebration, Behind the Mask: Bringing Domestic Violence Center Stage at the spectacular Wells Fargo Theatre in Denver. The event drew nearly 400 community leaders, students, alumni, supporters, policymakers and advocates from across the state and the nation.
A compelling theatrical program
A poignant and compelling theatrical performance started off the evening. Within the first few minutes, audience members were engulfed in the tragic story of Jenny as told by her parents. Jenny was “skyped” into the theatre as her parents recounted the progression of her abuse by her husband. At one time Jenny appears with an arm in a sling and a black eye claiming she fell down the stairs. In the end Jenny escapes her abuser and starts to make plans for enrolling in a program where she can make a difference in the lives of battered women everywhere.
The dramatic performance underscored the need for the academic programs, research projects, and service initiatives provided by the Center on Domestic Violence. “For more than 30 years, concerted efforts have been made to end domestic violence yet the devastation continues,” said Barbara Paradiso, Director of the Center on Domestic Violence. She added, “this event is dedicated to the millions of victims of domestic violence living behind a mask who must hide their abuse from friends and family out of shame and fear.”
Terrance Carroll, Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, served as the emcee for the evening. Joining Terrance and Barbara on the stage was Kathy Robertson, mother of Abby Robertson who was killed by her ex-boyfriend she met while in school on the Auraria Campus. Today, the Auraria Campus benefits from a victim services and education office started by the Center and its community-campus partners. Also sharing the stage was Sue Hagedorn, a professor emeritus at the University of Colorado College of Nursing and founder of the Seedworks Fund. Sue stated that applied research conducted by the Center makes a difference, and research combined with education and practice are the keys to changing lives in the community and the nation.
A compelling reason to give
A student at the Center on Domestic Violence, Patricia Garcia, also told her story from the stage. She witnessed horrifying domestic violence as a child - her mother was abused by Ms. Garcia's father. Patricia promised herself then that she would help other domestic violence abuse victims someday. Thirty years later, she entered the Center's academic program and now works to break the cycle of violence and raise awareness about its devastating consequences.
Patricia ended her remarks with a simple yet powerful request of the audience: "Help me make my story make a difference!" With that challenge, Sue Hagedorn announced that all donations from the event would be generously matched up to $750,000 by the Seedworks Fund. Sue is a longtime supporter of the Center and believes that the Center’s work is leading to real and lasting change in the movement to end domestic violence. The Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, one of the evening's sponsors, also issued a $5,000 challenge to the audience.
Please join Patricia and all the others in supporting the Center to help us usher in a second decade of programs, graduate achievements, and community partnerships committed to ending violence against women.
Debut of Keep Her Safe – An original song dedicated to the Center
The evening featured the debut of Keep Her Safe, an original song by Sherrie Scott. Sherrie wrote the song specifically for the Center on Domestic Violence and dedicated it to the Center’s work in ending violence against women. A gift CD of the song can be yours for a $50 donation or more to the Center. Learn more about the song and how you can get a copy by clicking here.
Listen to the song by clicking the play button below: