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Vigil spreads word to stop domestic violence – Panelists discuss the stages, causes and ways to escape abusers at event at the Alex Theatre.

By Natalie Yemenidjian
Published:  Last Updated Friday, October 24, 2008 10:52 PM PDT

GLENDALE — As about 50 women held the stem of lit candles for a vigil Friday night, a woman standing in the back of the crowd held the hand of her 5-year-old son even tighter.

After four years of abuse at the hands of her husband, she said, she escaped to Glendale’s YWCA.

“I was older,” the woman said. “You’d think that nothing like that could happen. But strange things started happening.”

First, he told her to cut off ties with friends. That’s the stage Kathie Mathis, the director of domestic violence programs for the Glendale’s YWCA, called “the walking-on-eggshells stage.” Afterward, Mathis said, abuse can manifest itself in name-calling, in a fist and sometimes in a loaded gun — as was the case in two domestic violence deaths this year in Glendale.

Mathis and three other panelists discussed the stages, causes and ways to escape domestic violence Friday night in the forecourt of the Alex Theatre, in a vigil hosted by Glendale’s Commission on the Status of Women, who partnered with Glendale Arts and the YWCA.

Karla Kerlin, chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, said the event is part of the mission to spread awareness of domestic violence to the community.

“The key is to train every first responder to a domestic abuse call,” Kerlin said.

Within the last year, the YWCA had more than 600 domestic abuse victims knock on their door.

“We’re honoring those who have been victims of domestic violence,” Kerlin said. “And those that have been survivors of it with a moment of silence at the end.”

All of the members on the panel agreed that the best way to get out of a violent relationship is to tell someone, ask for help and then secure a place to stay.

Detective Andrew Jenks, another member of the panel, said the crime is emotionally charged.

“It’s a crime of control,” said Jenks, who works with domestic violence cases on a daily basis.

“The policemen are not social workers,” Jenks said. “We are just fact-gatherers. Our job is to collect evidence in the best way that we can.”

Panel member Leslie Segala, from Peace Over Violence, goes to schools and organizations to talk about domestic violence.

The children she meets don’t always know what domestic violence is.

“A lot of them don’t know what’s going on in the home,” Segala said.

She is amazed at the number of young women who don’t know what a healthy relationship is.

“A lot of these girls say that all he has to do is hit me once and I’m gone,” Segala said. “My job is to never let it get to that point.”

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Status Update from the Alex Theatre


As the saying goes, "The Show Must Go On." However, sometimes, unprecedented circumstances call for the show to be paused. This is one of those rare times.



Currently, our shows through April 5th will not be taking place on their original dates.



The Glendale Arts and Alex Theatre staff have been hard at work behind-the-scenes collaborating with the presenters of these performances to reschedule dates and communicating with ticket buyers about their options.



We are continuing to monitor directives established by local, state-wide, and national authorities and will post developments on shows scheduled beyond April 5th as they happen.



While our staff is working remotely, we are with our beloved Alex in spirit, and our hearts remain committed to the thousands of patrons we happily serve every week and our extended family of presenters, producers, performers, and community members who call the Alex home.



These are trying time for everyone. The economic impact on the dual industries with which we identify - non-profits and performing arts/live entertainment - has been swift and severe.



If you are able, we ask you make a gift at that will allow us to continue our work at the Alex Theatre - a place for arts and entertainment to be enjoyed; a symbol of history, beauty, and community - during this time, so we are ready to bring healing and happiness to all who need it when the time is right.



We wish all of you and your loved ones health and safety throughout this situation and can't wait to welcome you through our doors again when the show is ready to go back on.



With our love,


Glendale Arts/Alex Theatre Management Staff


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