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Westport Stands Up To Domestic Violence

Domestic violence will not be tolerated in Westport: That was the message delivered by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff as he proclaimed October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"This is an annual event to raise awareness," Joseloff said in a brief ceremony Thursday morning. "Domestic violence needs to be driven away."

Elizabeth Juviler, chair of the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force, and several members of the group joined Joseloff on the steps of Town Hall for the ceremony. Westport Police Chief Al Fiore and other officers were also present.

As the event seeks to raise awareness, Joseloff stressed that domestic violence occurs in all communities, even an affluent one like Westport, despite all the "manicured lawns" and "pretty houses."

"Domestic violence affects people of all races and income levels," he said. "Things that go on behind closed doors are unspeakable."

And for this reason, Joseloff said it's important for people to know help is available if they are a victim or know someone who is. Programs and people, such as volunteers, police officers, and EMTs, will reach out and help those in need, he said.

To further raise awareness, Juviler said a series of events has been planned, including a visit from author Allan Johnson , who will discuss his novel, "The First Thing and the Last," on Nov. 9 at the library .

Purple ribbons will also be tied around trees near Town Hall and on posts around town to signify the number of reported domestic violence cases in Westport in 2009.

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