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Door-to-Door Domestic Violence Prevention Drive Gets Record Response

November 15th, 2013 | WMFE- While local airwaves are filled with the stories of two Central Florida women allegedly killed by their husbands, Orange County's domestic violence shelter is continuing to implement innovative programs aimed at preventing such tragedies. Harbor House is reporting record response this week after an initiative called "It Takes Courage" sent more than 700 volunteers door-to-door to 20,000 homes with information on domestic violence and what to do about it.

33-year-old Michael Boyce of Orlando was arrested last night for fatally shooting his wife, who was eight months pregnant with twin boys. Early Friday, one of the babies was still clinging to life in a hospital.

In Volusia County, the search for the bodies of Yessenia Suarez and her two young children continues after her husband Luis Toledo confessed to killing her during an argument.

Michelle Palmer of Harbor House says the organization focuses on prevention and intervention so victims of domestic violence won’t become the next tragic headline. She says the impact of last weekend’s “It Takes Courage” event became evident within 48 hours.

"We had a 200% percent increase in the number of hotline calls that we would normally see during a day, and in that 48-hour time period, we had 8 adults, 5 children, and 1 pet seek and enter shelter here on campus with us," says Palmer. 

She says providing information door-to-door is helpful to community members without internet access, and it can be a lifeline for domestic violence victims whose online activities are tracked by an abuser.


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