To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Next week at the Third Thursday celebration, the annual "Walk a Mile in their Shoes" fundraising event will be held to raise awareness and donations for the Elizabeth Freeman Center, a county-wide resource for women’s advocacy and counseling.
Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. Domestic violence can include physical, emotional, psychological, economic and/or sexual abuse.
One in three women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. The Elizabeth Freeman Center raises awareness about the issues of domestic violence and offers programs that help victims and survivors get the chance to change their lives. A nonprofit agency, the Elizabeth Freeman Center provides counseling, advocacy, emotional, vocational and economic support services for victims of domestic violence. Their services are available to victims throughout Berkshire County.
In our jobs as first responders for the city of Pittsfield, firefighters routinely see the effects of domestic violence. We tend to the victims and help console the families. It’s a scene repeated often enough that we understand the need and strongly advocate for better availability of services for these victims.
I cannot attend and partake in this year’s event, but I understand there is "proxy" planned to fill in for my absence. I urge my friends to contribute to this worthwhile agency so they may continue the good work they perform in all of our communities.
Please attend the Third Thursday "Walk a Mile in Their Shoes" event and support all of the walkers in their endeavor to raise funds and awareness on behalf of all of the victims of domestic violence.
The writer is chief of the Pittsfield Fire Department.