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The Peace House Fundraiser Is Sold Out But Still In Need Of Volunteers

Peace House
Peace House

The Peace House hosts the annual luncheon fundraiser  Thursday at St. Mary’s Church. The keynote speaker is a woman who has worked for domestic violence advocacy for more than three decades. She’s been highlighted in a 2014 Sundance Documentary, Private Violence. Her presentation starts at noon.

Kit Gruelle will present her address, Out of the Shadows and Into the Light at this year’s Peace House fundraiser lunch.  She started working with health care providers back in the 80’s. She was in a violent marriage and the only person then, who would help her was a deputy sheriff.  She says domestic violence is a choice made by an abuser. In 85 percent of cases it is women who are abused by men and they often stay in an abusive relationship because it’s dangerous to leave.

Gruelle has worked as a community educator training law enforcement, judges, legislators, clergy and health care providers.

Domestic violence for many people is a very confusing issue. They think that if a woman's being abused that she should just leave but the reality of it is that leaving is the most dangerous thing domestic violence victim can do and that's why we need all these other people on board because we need for victims to hear a consistent message that what's happening to her is wrong and that there is going to be a community based response.

Gruelle says physical abuse happens after the abuser uses a variety of controlling tactics.

“There’s like an abuse continuum. So it starts with him being the nicest guy she ever met and that's really part of weaving this web that makes it so difficult for her to see what's happening. So he starts with being really nice and that actually is tactical behavior as well. And then he'll start to say well I don't want you to talk to this person. I don't want you to talk to that person. I want to know where you are all the time and a lot of times women take that to be, oh he loves me so much. He wants to know where I am and then the controlling behaviors really start to get amped up.”

Executive Director of the Peace House Kendra Wyckoff says the new facility, scheduled to open in June, is shifting the way security is handled for abuse victims.

“And, one of the things I think is really powerful about coming out of the shadows and into the light as an organization is that we are literally surrounded by a community of support there, this is really an opportunity for our community to say to survivors, we know that we're here to support you. And, we know where peace house is at and we're looking out for you as a community. And I think that that's a really important message that we can share with survivors being a cornerstone in our community where people can come to us anytime.”

Gruelle says Peace House can help victims understand more about the situation they’re in and how to navigate the safety issues associated with an abusive home environment.

Out of the Shadows and Into the Light is the title of the keynote address. The lunch is sold out, but Wyckoff says they still need volunteers. Go to: https://www.amazon.com/Private-Violence-Cynthia-Hill/dp/B06XCQLZP1 for a film trailer from the Sundance film Private Violence. Go to the Park City Peace House link:  http://peacehouse.org/  if interesteed in volunteering. 
The 24-hour help line is 800-647-9161.

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