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Safe Harbor remembers victims of domestic violence

Nov. 29, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

ASHLAND -- Safe Harbor of Northeast Kentucky took time out to remember victims of domestic violence during a candlelight vigil on Oct. 29.

The event remembers women who died over the past year in domestic-violence related incidents and culminated Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Safe Harbor is a domestic violence shelter that serves Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence counties in Kentucky. The shelter offers three levels of care, including emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent, supportive housing (apartments) on site.

White Ribbon honorees included Safe Harbor board member Dr. Laura Reese for her work to bring health-care services to the Safe Harbor campus, and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital (OLBH) for the hospital's mobile mammography unit that visits the Safe Harbor campus twice each year. The award was accepted by Luann Serey, who works with Safe Harbor to schedule the mammography unit visits as well as to help facilitate follow-up care.

"Women are so afraid to get out of their situations, and when they finally take the steps to do it, I think there should be a well-rounded, full-bodied place they can go to get their lives turned around," Reese said in a release.

Reese advocated for the King's Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) mobile unit to visit Safe Harbor once each month to provide care for residents. During those times when the KDMC mobile unit could not visit the campus, Reese held a clinic at Safe Harbor to treat and refer patients.

"Dr. Reese is a tremendous advocate for our families," Ann Perkins, executive director of Safe Harbor, said in a release. "Her passion for them and their health are a blessing to our program."

The vigil concluded with the lighting of candles and the reading of the names of this year's victims, which included 25 Kentucky women who died as the result of domestic violence. A woman from Greenup County and one from Boyd County were part of this year's list.

Other program participants included Marty Vannatter, president of Safe Harbor's board, who read the names of the 25 victims; Karen Curnutte, who sang the National Anthem; the Rev. Mark Kloha, who gave the invocation; and the Boyd County High School NJROTC Color Guard, who presented the colors under the direction of retired Master Chief James Sandlin.

Safe Harbor has occupied the former tuberculosis hospital complex in Ashland for almost 30 years. During its three decades, Safe Harbor has housed more than 15,000 women, children and men. Every year for the past five years, that number has grown, and the facility now houses more than 1,200 women and children each year.

Safe Harbor is in the midst of a capital campaign to renovate and expand the emergency shelter, which currently has a capacity of 44. Safe Harbor was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank based on a three-to-one match, meaning the organization must raise $250,000.

Renovation and expansion work is anticipated to begin early next spring, said Perkins.

For more information about making a donation to the Emergency Shelter renovation and expansion project, call 606-329-9304.

To help Safe Harbor

Safe Harbor is raising money $250,000 to renovate and expand its emergency shelter. For more information about making a donation to the Emergency Shelter renovation and expansion project, call 606-329-9304.

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