With a theme of renewed hope, officials with the Women's and Children's Alliance gathered at a special presentation Oct. 4 to receive a stained-glass butterfly to replace one stolen from the "Taking Flight" sculpture outside of the organization's headquarters.
The previous stained-glass butterfly, valued at $2,500, first disappeared from the WCA's downtown Boise building in March 2012. It was returned after a few weeks but, two months later, the butterfly was stolen again.
The new butterfly was granted to WCA by Kuna artist Valerie Pierce and presented at the Oct. 4 breakfast to honor survivors and first responders of domestic violence.
“Anytime we have adversity in our life, we have a chance for metamorphosis—that is what the butterfly symbolizes—especially the monarch,” said Pierce, who re-created the original "Taking Flight" butterfly. “It has this amazing journey. It is long-lived and it is a survivor. And that is what these women are. They are survivors.”
For Cindy Mendoza, a survivor of domestic violence, the WCA gave her the hope and the tools to get out of an abusive marriage.
“After a first few times with the counselors, I began to change inside. I began to feel better. And then I realized what that was—it was hope. It was starting to creep inside me,” said Mendoza.
The Oct. 4 event also highlighted the power of individuals to report and stop domestic violence.
“It is so interconnected. If someone is involved in a physically violent and abusive situation, many times first responders are the ones that are going to be there—witnessing or helping to patch them up,” said WCA Executive Director Bea Black. “One individual can make a difference.”
First responders to domestic violence can be anyone—the victim, the victim’s family and friends, law enforcement, emergency room doctors or nurses.
“One person can stop domestic violence,” said Shawn Rayne, deputy director of Ada County Paramedics. “And when things go right, it gives you hope and faith that we really can make a difference. It doesn’t happen every time, but the more and more we do, and the more and more we are aware—we can make a difference.”