Rally unites agencies for abuse awareness

LIHUE — Neva Olson believes more needs to be done to prevent violence against women.

“There’s a concept that it’s OK somehow,” she said. “That’s not correct, but some people don’t quite get it.”

Olson was one of about 50 people who attended a rally at the Mo‘ikeha Building rotunda Monday to kick off a month-long endeavor to prevent abuse and raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Many wore dark blue ribbons, the color that signifies domestic violence prevention month.

“We continue to do, and have always done everything in our power to make sure victims get justice,” said Darryl Perry, Kauai police chief.

This is the third year Life’s Choices Kauai has hosted a rally to kick off April’s multitude of awareness initiatives.

Theresa Koki, coordinator of Life’s Choices Kauai, said it’s important to get stakeholders together to find solutions.

“We want people to understand we’re not operating in silence,” she said.

Marilyn Hashisaka, counselor at Pau Violence Kauai, said the rally shows how many resources are available for victims of sexual and domestic abuse.

“It’s the whole community and whole of Kauai — it’s awesome,”she said.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. made three proclamations — one to designate April as National Alcohol Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Month and Sexual Assault Month, one to designate April 26 as National Denim Day and onemarking April as National Donate Life Month.

It’s important to raise awareness to the issues brought to light in April because it will help improve the quality of life for Kauai’s residents, Koki said.

“We have to work together to take care of all of these social ills and abuse that happens,” she said, “and reach out to the families who need help and making sure kids are safe, because they’re our future generation.”

Other events and activities planned to raise awareness about community issues include a Parent-Child Fair 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Kukui Grove Center.

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