Area Groups, Officials Gather To Raise Awareness About Domestic Violence

Balloons were released on Thursday to raise awareness on domestic violence and remember Shari Robbins who was killed during a domestic violence incident last year. P-J photos by Jordan W. Patterson

Purple and white balloons floated across the sky as a way to raise awareness about domestic violence and to remember one person who lost their life as a result from it.

Heritage Green Rehab and Skilled Nursing, in partnership with the Salvation Army Anew Center, hosted the balloon release on Thursday as part of the Shine The Light Campaign. The campaign looks to raise awareness about domestic violence and the need to address it.

“I think people are embarrassed to talk about it,” said Lisa Haglund, vice president of marketing for Heritage. “It’s hard to admit that’s happening to you and you start to think it’s your own fault. So, I think when you look at the statistics and look at the information out there, it’s important that we’re a voice for these women.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website, one in four women and one in seven men experience some form of physical violence from a significant other. Haglund said that it’s easy for people to not talk about domestic violence, so it is rarely discussed.

Last year, Shari Robbins, a former employee of Heritage Green Rehab and Skilled Nursing, was on her way to work when she was killed as a result from a domestic violence incident.

Robbins’ parents, who were in attendance and released balloons to honor their daughter, were joined by state Sen. Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell.

“Unfortunately, it’s shocking. It’s shocking, but domestic violence is very prevalent all across this county, all across this state, all across this nation,” Young said. “It’s something that we need to address and I am so happy to see that you’re addressing it today.”

Young extended her condolences to Robbins’ parents and co-workers and recited a few stories about Robbins that her co-workers shared.

Young and Goodell are supporting legislation called “Brittany’s Law.” This law is based on a case that took place in Geneva where a women and her daughter were killed. The law would create a domestic violence registry that would inform people when a person convicted of domestic violence moved into the neighborhood., similar to a sex offender registry.

Goodell said that domestic violence is out there no matter family income, education, background or experience. He then recited common excuses that offenders may use but made it very clear that those excuses have no validity.

“There is no excuse,” Goodell said.

For more information on the Salvation Army Anew Center, which assists victims of domestic violence, please visit or call 664-4108.