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Westport Butterfly Release To Shine Light On Domestic Violence

Monarch butterflies will be released in Westport on Oct. 15 to raise awareness of domestic violence.
Monarch butterflies will be released in Westport on Oct. 15 to raise awareness of domestic violence. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. – Dozens of Monarch butterflies will take flight in Westport next week to raise awareness of domestic violence during the second annual Healing Wings of Hope event.

Each butterfly released during the event — organized by the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force — will represent a real domestic violence incident that was reported in Westport last year, said Elizabeth Marks Juviler, event coordinator and task force chairman.

“The aim is to raise awareness of a real problem through an uplifting and healing action,” Marks Juviler said of the butterfly release. “It’s a true community event combining citizens and members of local organizations.”

The event will take place on Oct. 15, at 3:30 p.m. at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane. During the event, Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff will read a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Month in Westport. October is also National Domestic Violence Month.

People can sponsor a butterfly for $10. All net proceeds will be donated to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) , an organization that provides a variety services and programs to victims of domestic violence throughout the county, including counseling and legal assistance. The center also operates two domestic violence safe houses.

A total of 96 butterflies were released during last year’s inaugural Healing Wings of Hope event, Juviler said. The event raised more than $600 for DVCC, she said.

The number of butterflies being released Tuesday has not yet been determined, as Juviler said she is awaiting data on the number of Westport domestic violence cases that were reported last year.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a butterfly should contact Elizabeth Marks Juviler at WestportDVTF@gmail.com. People need not be present at the event to sponsor a butterfly.

Juviler said Westport’s Unitarian Church is helping the Domestic Violence Task Force cover the costs of purchasing the butterflies by donating ticket sale proceeds from its Brother Sun concert this Saturday. The concert begins at 8 p.m. at Voices Cafe, 10 Lyons Plains Roads. Tickets are $20 and are available online .

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