Visiting authors stress importance of domestic violence awareness
Last Thursday, the Orndorff Theater hosted a full audience for Stabbed in the Heart, a program on domestic violence awareness. Nancy Chavez and Lynn Shiner, who are co-authors of “Stabbed in the Heart – Three Murdered Children, Two Resilient Mothers,” shared their personal experiences with domestic violence, how it changed them and what they do to help others affected by domestic violence. Both women experienced domestic violence in their relationships. Chavez’s daughter was murdered by her husband and Shiner’s children were murdered by their father.
They now work to bring about change by raising money to help those affected by domestic violence and raising awareness of it. Shiner is the director of the Office of Victim Services in Pa., which provides assistance to programs that help domestic violence victims. Through the Jen & Dave Program, named for Shiner’s children, individuals involved in child custody now have access to criminal charge information regarding the other parent. She has also raised over $160,000 for victims of domestic violence.
Chavez founded Randi’s House of Angels, named for her daughter, which is a foundation that focuses on helping families and children exposed to domestic violence. The foundation also raises money for the Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland & Perry Counties through Randi’s Race for Hope and Courage, a 5K held every year on Mother’s Day. Their book is available at rjdlessings.com and 100 percent of the profits are donated to help crime victims.
When asked what people can do to help prevent domestic violence, Shiner responded, “Talking about it.” Chavez said, “Recognize its seriousness and create awareness.” Raising awareness is an important step in preventing domestic violence and is the focus of the nationwide “NO MORE” PSA Campaign, promoted by the Shippensburg’s Women’s Center. The Women’s Center organized the Stabbed in the Hear program as part of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month.