By CHRIS COLLINS
Of the Baker City Herald
Stacey Jones is working to bring the issue of domestic violence to the forefront of the minds of all Baker County residents this month.
andquot;We want to grab the public by the shoulders and tell them to wake up,andquot; he said. andquot;There's a good possibility that one of your friends, acquaintances, people from church or your co-workers has been an abuse victim.andquot; Jones, 40, who has served as MayDay executive director since February, has scheduled several special activities through the month. He is urging all county residents who have been affected by domestic violence to write letters to the editor about their experiences.
Statistics show that one in five people in the Northwest has been or is being abused, he said, which gives credence to the theme of the October campaign: andquot;Domestic Violence It Is Your Business.andquot; The County Commission and City Council have been asked to join Gov. Ted Kulongoski in his statewide proclamation by also designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Baker County and in Baker City.
Jones also is putting up posters throughout the community asking residents to pledge to help end domestic violence. People will be asked to sign the posters and to donate money to help MayDay purchase full-page ads in the Baker City Herald and The Record-Courier promoting community unity against domestic violence.
Through the Purple Ribbon Project, MayDay will offer purple ribbons for residents to wear to show support for domestic violence victims.
These activities also are scheduled during the month:
oFriday Silent candlelight march in memory of people who have been murdered by domestic violence. The vigil will begin at 7 p.m. on the Courthouse steps with speeches by District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff and Baker City Police officer Sharon Bass, whose sister was killed by her estranged husband in July 1998.
After the speeches, marchers will travel from the Courthouse to Crossroads Arts Center where domestic violence information will be displayed and refreshments, provided by Soroptimist members, will be served.
oSaturday Members of the Baker High School National Honor Society will offer baked goods for sale at Bella, 2023 Main St. The sale also is ongoing at BHS, 2500 E St. The proceeds will help support the domestic violence awareness campaign.
oSaturday and Sunday Local churches will be asked to have a special moment of prayer for those whose lives have been injured because of domestic violence.
oTuesday, Oct. 21 andquot;It's Hard To Know What To Doandquot; class, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; open to everyone in the community. Tamara Fulwyler, Project DOVE director in Ontario and former Baker County CASA director, will be the guest speaker during the session. It is designed to equip residents with tools needed to recognize domestic violence and information about how to approach and help friends, neighbors or co-workers who might be in a domestic violence situation. Prior registration for the class is necessary and may be made by calling MayDay at 523-9472.
oFriday, Oct. 24 Women's Self-Defense Class, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; the $12 fee covers the basics of how to stay safe. Participants must register and pay before the class starts at the MayDay office at 1820 First St.
oTuesday, Oct. 28 The Empty Shoes Project, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street; information about domestic violence will be displayed.
oWednesday, Oct. 29 Dine Out Against Domestic Violence; residents are being asked to dine at participating restaurants, which will in turn donate a percentage of their proceeds from the evening meal to MayDay's domestic violence awareness project. Jones said the money will be used to pay for radio and newspaper ads, posters, fliers and other community education and awareness programs.
These restaurants are participating: the Geiser Grand, 1996 Main St.; Barley Brown's, 2190 Main St.; El Erradero, 2100 Broadway St.; Arceo's, 781 Campbell St.; The Phone Company, 1926 First St.; Janet's Cook Shack, 2915 10th St.; and Pizza a'fetta, 1915 Washington Ave., which will participate during lunchtime.
oThursday, Oct. 30 Full-page pledge ads to be placed in the Baker City Herald and The Record-Courier.