On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Grand Island Rotary hosted ex-Channel 7 reporter and Orchard Park Town Supervisor Mary Travers Murphy for an impassioned talk on the consequences of family violence and ways to help its victims.
Travers described to Rotarians the horror and dismay of being supervisor of a "quiet, peaceful" suburban town when Aasiya Hassan was murdered (beheaded) by her husband. Her challenge as her supervisor term ended was to make it easier for battered women and men to get help. Now there is a branch of Buffalo's Family Justice Center in Orchard Park. It has minimal paid staff, but lots of volunteers. Her challenge to Grand Island and the north suburbs is to do something similar here. Her message was made personal, as she was accompanied by Peg Simonds, a professional woman who suffered years of abuse before breaking free to restart her life.
Pictured, from left, are Buffalo Rotarian Patty Johnson (formally of Grand Island) and Grand Island Rotary President Akhtar Mirza, who arranged the presentation as part of Rotary's Peace Through Service program, with Travers Murphy and Simonds.