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To the Journal editor:

The words ‘thank you’ fail to express the deep sense of gratitude felt by the Marquette Women’s Center Board, staff, and the survivors we serve for the four-part series written by Journal Staff Writer Renee Prusi and published on the front pages of The Mining Journal.,

I was sitting in O’Hare Airport in Chicago, waiting for a return flight to Marquette. People started talking to me about the articles. This scene was repeated frequently during the last few weeks.

For 40 years, the Women’s Center has provided support for residents of Marquette County. This year alone the Women’s Center and its program Harbor House provided 4,735 shelter nights. We served 1,915 survivors of domestic and sexual violence. We answered 5,900 crisis calls.

These numbers verify the continuing need for our services and the need to keep women and children in our community safe. Still, there are many in the community who had no idea of the work we do.

Renee Prusi put the face of a survivor and former client before your readers. Diane Betts was willing to share her story. Renee’s interviews with the founding mothers helped us view how far we have come.

The articles Renee wrote were extraordinary. It is our hope that they will be submitted for award winning reporting.

Clearly the articles are a reminder to all of us. We are so fortunate to live where people care about each other. The community stance taken 40 years ago remains; “no one deserves to be beaten.”

With the community’s help, the Women’s Center provides the safety net for women and children fleeing domestic and sexual violence. The mission of the Women’s Center remains grounded: Protect, Educate, Advocate, Counsel, Empower (PEACE).

Thank you for telling our story.

Karlyn Rapport, vice president

Women’s Center