First Step reminds community of domestic violence

| October 26, 2012

COSHOCTON – For anyone driving either direction on Main Street or Fourth Street by the court square in Coshocton on Thursday, October 25, they may have been wondering about the brightly colored tee shirts blowing in the breeze.

Krystal Smucker, speaking for First Step Family Violence Intervention Services, who sponsored the event, said, “This is called the Clothesline Project, and represents shirts done by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and the different colors represent the different types of abuse. We do this once a year to let people know that this does go on and it does affect and it impacts generations.

Smucker said, “The reason we started our agency was to give people options and to let them know what those options are. If they have questions and don’t know which direction to go, they can come to us and we can help them look at the different options and walk them through it.” You can contact First Step at 740-622-8504.

Krystal also said that the effect of the tee shirts is very empowering to us and has been since she and Vicki Laudick started doing the Clothesline Project in Coshocton back in 1982. “The impact of the tee shirts as we remember all of the people affected and their lives is powerful.” The staff of First Step also provided their time for the project.

Smucker said that the majority of the yellow, green, and other brightly colored tee shirts on the court square are from victims in Coshocton County. 110 tee shirts were displayed, a sobering statistic representing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. October is designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this year marks the 25th year of observance. It is reported that one in four women will be affected by domestic violence during their lifetime.

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I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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