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Westport Butterfly Release Raises Funds, Awareness Of Domestic Violence

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport is not immune to domestic violence: That was the message resident Elizabeth Juviler hoped to convey last week during the first annual Healing Wings of Hope awareness event.

During the event, spearheaded by Juviler, 94 butterflies were released into the wild at Earthplace. Each butterfly represented the number of reported domestic violence cases in Westport last year, Juviler said.

“I hope the event draws more attention to this issue and makes people aware that domestic violence is in our community, and that it’s an issue more people deal with than they realize,” said Juviler, a former chairwoman of the town’s Domestic Violence Task Force.

“Because we live in an affluent community, people think domestic violence doesn’t exist here,” Juviler added. “But that’s a myth. Domestic violence affects everyone, regardless of race, gender, age or income.”

Event attendees could sponsor a butterfly for $10 to benefit the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, an organization that provides services and programs to victims of domestic violence throughout the county.

In total, $510 was raised for the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Juviler said. Some of that money was raised during a special Cop Shop program held last week at Toquet Hall for middle school students about dating violence, Juviler said.

“I was very pleased. Every bit helps,” she said.

Juviler said she hopes the event will inspire others to get involved in raising awareness about domestic violence.

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