Subscribe to our free, daily publication for all your Westford news.
A coalition that tracks domestic violence homicides in Massachusetts is reporting nine incidents since Jan. 1, with the most recent taking place on May 28.
Jane Doe Inc., of Boston, has posted information about victims from across the state, the youngest being 20 and the oldest, 65.
The information bolsters the efforts of the Live for Liv Foundation in Westford, which raises awareness of domestic violence through fundraising events and speaking presentations.
“It’s very important to speak to everyone about it so they know the signs,” said Live for Liv Founder Jody Marchand in a recent video at Chelmsford Telemedia.
On Sunday, July 15, Live for Liv will sponsor the annual Ride for Liv/Run for Liv at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Westford. The organizers are offering a free barbecue lunch to everyone who attends. In addition, riders and runners can register for one of the following:
- 50-mile timed ride — Riders take off at 8:30 a.m.
- 23-mile route along the back roads of Westford, Chelmsford, Carlisle, Concord and Acton — Riders take off at 10 a.m.
- 6-mile route along a portion of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail — Riders take off at 11 a.m.
- 5K Run/Walk — Begins at 10:30 a.m.
The Live for Liv Foundation was created after an act of domestic violence took the life of 17-year-old Olivia “Liv” Marchand of Westford on Feb. 1, 2010. Her mother Jody Marchand was critically wounded. Police say Olivia’s father, Brian Marchand, shot his daughter and wife and then turned the gun on himself, succumbing to his injuries. Olivia was a senior at Westford Academy and was on her way to the University of Vermont in the fall.
Marchand founded the organization to keep her daughter’s memory alive.
Since Jan. 1 there have been four domestic violence deaths by stabbing in Massachusetts, three by a shooting, two by blunt trauma, and one by strangulation, according to Jane Dow, Inc.
By July 1, 2017, there were 10 domestic violence homicides in Massachusetts and a total of 24 for the entire year. Nine involved a shooting, three were by strangulation, one by hanging, six by strangulation, four by blunt or sharp trauma, and one is undetermined. Five victims were male, including a six-year-old boy.
“…Creating a new vision for sexual violence prevention, intervention, and services demands a shift in societal beliefs regarding power and control,” according to the Jane Doe website. “Addressing the economic situation of victims and survivors involves understanding the ways that financial illiteracy and gender inequity limit options for women and others without power in society.”