Below you will find our interactive 2013 Annual Appeal (click to zoom and read). You may also refer to the text below or download the printable PDF version.
Please take a look and consider making a donation this holiday season.
TOGETHER WE CAN END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
"I fear for my life," wrote Evelyn Burgos in a Temporary Restraining Order against her former boyfriend in July, 2013. "I'm very scared of him," she continued. That Order was never served; two weeks later she was murdered.
Evelyn and her daughter, Vanessa Perez, were fatally shot at her Johnston home in the presence of their younger children in the dark, early morning of August 11. Evelyn's two-year-old son was abducted from the scene and later found wandering alone near a Providence housing project, crying out for the mother he would never see again.
While I have seen tremendous progress in the way our community addresses domestic violence over the years, this tragedy illustrates just how much we have to do to prevent, and ultimately, end domestic violence. During a special community event in September with the family, friends and colleagues of Evelyn and Vanessa, tears streamed down my face when two small children released purple balloons in their memory. I asked myself, what more can we as a community do?
There is no simple answer to the life-changing horror of domestic violence, but there is hope and there are two simple words to keep us focused on our mission: NO MORE.
Last year, we launched a public awareness campaign centered on the idea that together we can end domestic violence and we must all say NO MORE to abuse. This year we expanded the campaign to encourage bystanders - everyday citizens - to KNOW MORE. DO MORE. It is designed to teach people the signs of abuse and the steps to prevent it. Knowledge is the first step, and even the smallest action can save someone's life, perhaps even someone we know and love.
We can be rendered inactive, frozen by tragedies such as the one that took Evelyn and Vanessa away from us and away from their children—or, we can come together now and let their deaths mobilize us to ensure this will never happen to any family again. That's what Evelyn's family wants—that those children who witnessed the brutal killing of their mothers, will grow up in a world where domestic violence exists NO MORE.
On behalf of the families and communities devastated by domestic violence, and the untold victims experiencing abuse in Rhode Island, we thank you for considering a donation this holiday season.