An informational meeting that invited civic and other officials was held, Thursday, to introduce people to the annual Evergreens & Things fund raising boutique set for Nov. 14 at the Davis Conference Center, here.
Last year, more than $100,000 was raised during the event that featured 46 Christmas trees decorated in various motifs, a silent auction, and other crafts and gifts for sale.
"Domestic violence is an insidious crime that can leave scars on a spouse, children, witnesses," said Layton Police Chief Terry Keefe.
"Forty-seven years ago, there was a young boy, walking home from school. He got to the front door of his house and it was locked," something the boy found puzzling since the door was never locked.
"He heard screams, and crying," Keefe related. "It was the husband and wife of relatives that were staying with us. The 8-year-old boy ran next door, to his best friend's house, where his stay-at-home mom called police.
"They responded to the door, pounded, finally had to break the door down," the police chief said. "That 8-year-old remembers the police taking away the perpetrator, and the ambulance taking away the victims.
"I remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday," Keefe said of his own memories. "It (domestic violence) leaves a lasting scar, touches everybody."
In 1999, upon assuming his current job, Keefe was invited to Safe Harbor, a place the long-time resident of Davis County didn't even know existed.
What followed was the start of a long association, which included the chief's serving on the board of directors.
"Domestic violence knows no bounds," he said. The affluent, low and moderate-income, older, younger people all can be touched by it.
"There are over 800 domestic violence cases reported a year in Layton," Keefe said. "We've taken a pretty strong approach. We tend to arrest the perpetrator.
"Prior to this shelter, law enforcement had very few options. If the victim had a relative, she could go there. We'd have no place to take the worst cases," he said.
"It's been a struggle" to keep the facility going, to meet the needs, Keefe said. Safe Harbor is not a government entity, but is operated by a non-profit board of directors.
"People are getting more comfortable in reporting domestic violence," he said.
Safe Harbor executive director Kay Card thanked Darlene Galbraith, one of the founding members of the shelter.
"One in every 10 homes suffers from domestic violence," she said, quoting a previous Utah Attorney General.
"The biggest question is why women who endure repeated violence go back," Card said. "It's an incredibly complex issue. It does hurt families and the community."
She recalled the case of an ex-football player who endured a "horrific life," growing up. However, he rose above it.
"This is a fun event to help such an awful community situation," said Rosalie Edmonds and Carlene Kemp, Evergreen co-chairs.
They noted that the shelter routinely needs pajamas, toothpaste, other toiletries. For more information call 444-3191.