For the past 30 years, one woman has stood up to domestic violence to help victims in southern West Virginia.
Friday, Sue Julian, a team coordinator for the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, was honored with the Geneva Foster Pioneer Award by the Victims Compensation Program and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. She was presented the award by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin at a ceremony at the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse.
Julian started her career here in West Virginia in Williamson where she worked as the director at a battered women and children’s program. In 1989, she went to work for the state as an advocate for domestic abuse victims.
“I’ve been doing this work for 30 years because it really matters to me that our homes are safe for our children and family members,” Julian said.
Because domestic violence crosses all boundaries from age, race, sex and religion, chances are you may know a victim.
“Almost all of us know somebody who has been battered or beaten, violated, sexually assaulted or stalked,” explained Julian. “Because of that, it’s really important for all of us to be working together to create communities that are safe, homes that are nurturing and supportive and to grow a whole new generation of kids who refuse to use violence in their relationships.”
After three decades on the job, Julian plans to retire at the end of June. But that doesn’t mean she’ll be giving up the cause. She plans to work with the state Division of Corrections to help incarcerated women deal with domestic violence through yoga and meditation.
April 21-27 is National Crime Victims’ Right Week. Operation Reach Out is sponsoring a Walk/Run for Justice. It was originally set for Friday morning. It’s been moved to Monday, April 22.