Breaking the Silence on Domestic Abuse

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski addresses a packed ANPCC lobby at the Domestic Violence Awareness Commencement event on Oct. 1, 2019.

Alaska leads the nation in domestic violence. More than half of Alaska’s women have experienced either domestic or sexual violence. Every Alaskan regardless of age, race, culture, or status deserves to live free from harm and fear of domestic violence. Every year, Southcentral Foundation highlights the work of the Family Wellness Warriors Initiative, a program established by President/CEO Katherine Gottlieb in 1999. One of FWWI’s goals is to end domestic violence in this generation. In working toward this goal, FWWI hosts events and collaborates with community partners in October — National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. During the annual commencement SCF held Oct. 1, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, and Anchorage First Lady Dr. Mara Kimmel spoke about the tremendous work being done by SCF and community partners across the state. Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll committed his department’s full support to help reduce the number of domestic violence cases in the community.

Following the commencement, nearly 200 community members walked in purple attire to show their support and bring awareness to domestic violence and help break the silence.

Just before the awareness walk, Butch and Cindy Moore, parents of Bree Moore, gifted SCF a photo of their late daughter with a personal message to President/CEO Katherine Gottlieb. Gottlieb worked with the Moore family as well as local and state government in developing dating violence prevention curricula to be taught throughout Alaska. Bree’s law was signed by former Alaska Governor Bill Walker at SCF’s 2018 Domestic Violence Commencement event.

Throughout the month of October, FWWI is sponsoring learning lunch opportunities every Friday at the Dr. Katherine and Dr. Kevin Gottlieb Building, 4441 Diplomacy Drive Anchorage, Alaska, where community partners are presenting topics regarding domestic violence awareness and prevention. Free continuing education units are available and lunch is provided.

To anonymously help yourself or a friend call:
Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis: (907) 272-0100
Love is Respect: 1 (866) 331-9474
Standing Together Against Rape: (907) 276-7273 or (800) 478-8999
To learn more about these opportunities and programs, or to find more ways to get involved, contact FWWI at (907) 729-5440 or visit

by Jake Johnson

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