c/o Blythe Guecia

c/o Blythe Guecia

New Horizons, a Community Health Center program that offers domestic violence services, held its eighth annual Walk to End Silence on Saturday, Oct. 8, prompting residents of Middletown and neighboring communities to walk down Main Street in support of the anti-domestic violence movement.

New Horizons provides a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, court advocacy, and support groups for residents of Middlesex County affected by domestic or intimate partner violence. According to New Horizons, the signs of domestic violence often go unnoticed or ignored.

“[Domestic violence is a] pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors that abusers use to control their intimate partners,” the New Horizons website says. “We are dedicated to helping to find solutions for those who experience domestic violence.”

Various organizations volunteered at the event, including the Middletown Fire Department, the Community Health Center, Wesleyan’s Adolescent Sexual Health Awareness Club (ASHA), and the Wesleyan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). 

Beto Valdez ’26, who attended the walk, said he enjoyed volunteering at the event. He helped with face painting, handing out food and water, and talking to the walkers about ASHA.

Valdez reflected on how nice it was to see so many members of the Middletown community get together to support a cause and hopes to see more students attend in the future. 

“It was hopeful to see people want to bring awareness to a very touchy subject,” Valdez said. “I have never seen the Middletown community get together like this…. It’s nice to see that.”

ASHA co-coordinator Blythe Guecia ’23, who works within ASHA to spread awareness about sexual health including intimate partner violence, attended the walk as well and noted that this was the first time ASHA officially participated in the event. She described how refreshing it was to witness such a great turnout, which demonstrates just how caring the Middletown community is. 

“The turnout was really great,” Guecia said. “We got there at around 8:00 a.m. to set up, and then the march went until midday. It was certainly quieter in the morning, but it ramped up throughout the day. There were a ton of people. Before the actual march, there were speakers. Most of them were associated with the Community Health Center and were speaking out about domestic violence in Middletown.”

Guecia also explained that this crowd included people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. 

“We would love to [participate again] next year,” Guecia said. “It’s a really great way to get in touch with Middletown. We’re always looking to bridge the gap between the work we do and [the Middletown community]. We’re hopefully going to get into Middletown High School to also hold sex ed lessons there.” 

Gabrielle McIntosh can be reached at gmcintosh@wesleyan.edu.

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