It was an autumn day in 1999 when Laura Gattas was shot on her way to work at Memorial Hospital. She died the next day, and her estranged husband, who had been stalking her, eventually was found guilty of first-degree murder. Her three children essentially remain orphans.
Domestic abuse is society's ugly, ever-present secret, but those at TESSA (formerly The Center for Prevention of Domestic Abuse) make sure the issue doesn't go unnoticed. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, TESSA has organized several events.
Starting on an appropriately somber note, TESSA will hold a Silent Witness Gathering at noon on Friday, Oct. 7 on the Pioneers Museum grounds (215 S. Tejon St.). The event honors the nine Springs residents who lost their lives this year to domestic violence, and those who continue to struggle.
From 6 to 10 that evening, TESSA, collaborating with Cedars Jazz Club at the Paragon Culinary School (3125 Sinton Road), will host Girls Rock Against Domestic Violence. Featured performers are Boulder singer/musician Wendy Woo, Sarah Hope and the Goods, Chelleigh and recent Peak Area Performances and Artists Award winner Michael Scott Parker.
Tickets are available at the door, for a suggested donation of $15, and a silent auction will be held throughout the evening. All proceeds will benefit TESSA.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Maryann De Leo is screening her documentary, Terror at Home: Domestic Violence in America, at Colorado College's Bemis Hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The free screening and Q&A session with De Leo is sponsored by TESSA, Colorado College and Kaiser Permanente.
You also can stuff your face for the cause. Proceeds from Tortellacci Tuesdays this month at Luigi's Restaurant (947 S. Tejon St.) will benefit TESSA.
-- Kara Luger
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
TESSA benefits and events, various locations throughout the month
For more info, visit tessacs.org.