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Domestic violence silhouettes to be unveiled in Churchville Sunday

Rev. Lisa Ward, second from right, hugs the relative of one of the victims recognized in last year's Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County's Silent Witness unveiling ceremony. The congregation will uncover silhouettes lined up along Churchville Road to remember Harford County victims of domestic violence.
Rev. Lisa Ward, second from right, hugs the relative of one of the victims recognized in last year's Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County's Silent Witness unveiling ceremony. The congregation will uncover silhouettes lined up along Churchville Road to remember Harford County victims of domestic violence. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun file photo)

The wooden silhouettes that represent real victims of deadly domestic violence in Harford County will be unveiled again Sunday.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County is hosting the annual Silent Witness initiative ceremony and will unveil the silhouettes Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in front of the church.

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Silent Witness program is designed to increase community awareness that domestic violence is a problem in the county, organizers say, adding that victims are not nameless, nor are they very far removed from people's everyday lives.

The mission of the Silent Witness Program is to promote peace, healing and responsibility in adult relationships in order to eliminate domestic murders in the United States. Each year, the Fellowship erects on its front lawn the wooden silhouettes, which are unveiled in a ceremony of healing and in an affirmation of the life of those affected by domestic violence.

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Guest speakers this year include Harford County State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly, Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane and a representative from SARC. All are welcome to join in this gathering.

"This is an event that ripples throughout Harford County and is appreciated by countless folk rebuilding their lives in the wake or in the continued struggle with domestic violence," Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County minister Rev. Lisa Ward said.

The Silent Witness Initiative was started in September 2001. With a grant from Harford Community College, supplies were purchased to build 10 Silent Witness figures. Members of Unitarian Universalist congregation came together on two weekends to construct the figures. Since then, five additional figures have been added, representing victims of domestic murders in Harford County between 2000 through 2005.

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