BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Dan McGarigle witnessed violence around him as a child. “I realized long ago that violence holds no solutions, only more problems,” said McGarigle, the owner of Pine Mountain Sports in Bend, who recently participated with Saving Grace and their new “It Starts With Me” campaign — a public awareness campaign to shine a light on violence happening in homes across Central Oregon.
In the last year, Saving Grace answered over 2,500 calls to their 24-hour Helpline and provided nearly 16,000 crises services throughout Central Oregon. Survivors of intimate partner violence experience an array of abuse — from financial control and emotional intimidation, to physical violence.
Shannon Abero-Guerrero is an instructor at The VIBE Dance Center and is intentional about talking to her two daughters about safety and how to handle uncomfortable situations. “I wish I had someone to talk to when I was a child. I wish the abuse I experienced didn’t happen to me. I hope more women and youth realize their value and worth and know that Saving Grace is here to help,” she said.
Other contributing community leaders haven’t experienced violence personally but have seen its impact nevertheless. “In my work, I get to work with incredible leaders and organizations,” shares Coachwell chief development officer, Dave Salciccioli. “The single greatest contributing factor to their success comes from a sense of psychological safety within their day-to-day. A life without violence, both in work and at home is the only way for us to achieve our greatest potential.”
“Throughout my career in nonprofit leadership, I have seen the benefits of community partners coming together around a common mission. I can’t imagine anything more foundational to a healthy community, than safety and standing up for those who need it most.”
A dozen of other local students and leaders have now lent their voice to this inaugural campaign, which launched back in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Talena Barker, vice president of Leadership Programs with the Bend Chamber of Commerce, says, “Domestic violence is such a secret, hidden part of our community fabric, but it exists at levels that are utterly shocking. Healthy and successful communities start with basic safety for all, and that’s why it needs to start with me.”
To learn more and join their campaign, visit: saving-grace.org/withme