BY LANESSA MURPHY-SPAGNUOLO
News & Journal Staff Writer
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Friends of the Clarksburg Harrison Public Library are aiming to spread awareness to end an issue that affects 7 million each year. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, one in five women and one in 77 men have been victims of rape in their lifetime. Nationally, one in three people are murdered each day by a current or former partner.
On October 1, the library will be hosting an Appalachian author, Crystal Good, who will be presenting and leading a discussion about Domestic Violence and Awareness. The discussion, “Bridges, Writing from a Healing Place”, will prompt those in attendance to share their personal stories verbally and through writing.
“What Good is going to do is have people talk about different help avenues as far as online and talking it out for friends and family,” explains Julia Todd, Library Manager.
A representative from a local crisis center and the Hope Shelter, among others, will be on hand to discuss awareness and to provide additional support.
Good, a West Virginia native and a survivor of child abuse herself, published her first poetry book “Valley Girl” in 2012 which “explores themes ranging from quantum physics to mountaintop removal”. According to her website, crystalgood.net, her work is tied to her home and real life experiences. “Crystal sees the needs and pains of everyday people and uses her work to fight for the voice they deserve”.
Good is considered to be an entrepreneur, artist, and advocate. Her work tends to focus on social, racial, and environmental issues the people of Appalachia often face.
Good is an Irene McKinney Memorial Scholar who recently obtained an MFA at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She often holds such workshops and poetry readings at colleges, coffee shops, and bookstores.
The workshop will feature two one-hour sessions for victims of domestic violence and those who love them. The event will take place from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Clarksburg Harrison Library.
“We are taking into consideration the privacy issue and we are going to have a representative here from a crisis center that is trained. Sometimes just talking about it brings up a few memories,” said Todd.
To accommodate privacy and open discussion, the workshop will be held in the library’s large conference room.
“You need to come to this event to learn how to bridge your life back together, not only to bridge your life but your family’s, friends’, and those around you,” commented Todd. “It does help to have someone like Crystal who has been there to bridge the avenues and make you feel safe again.”
The event is part of the library’s quarterly author series in which authors present discussions on topics that affect people around the area. This is the third year the library has hosted these events but their first on domestic violence. The previous two events have focused on drugs, which is a huge issue in the area, and the latest on heritage, which incorporated both the Italian Heritage and Black Heritage Festivals.
“I think it is going to be a wonderful thing,” remarked Todd. “Please come. We always have a lot of good events here and local authors.”
For more information, phone 304-627-2236.