Benson Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

From left are Kay Johnson, Director of Harbor in Smithfield, Benson Mayor William Massengill and Harbor Board member Janet Wilson.

The Town of Benson wants to remind everyone that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  On Monday, Mayor William Massengill met with Kay Johnson, Director of Harbor Shelter in Smithfield — a nonprofit agency for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and families in transition in Johnston County. Along with Janet Wilson, a Harbor board member, the three stressed the importance of getting the word out about shelters and warning youth about the dangers of starting or remaining in abusive relationships.

Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have suffered from domestic violence by an intimate partner. In fact, Harbor has served 58 people from the Town of Benson in the past year suffering from domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month acts to shed light on this violation of the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse.

An excerpt from the proclamation:  “The Town of Benson pledges to foster a supportive community that helps survivors seek justice and enjoy full and healthy lives. All people deserve to feel safe with loved ones, and the Town of Benson is committed to supporting law enforcement and non-profit organizations that can help eliminate this scourge (of domestic violence).”

On Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. in Smithfield Community Park at 600 E. Booker Dairy Rd. — Harbor will host its famous “Walk the Park in Her Shoes” fundraiser. Although this event is for a serious cause and organization, there’s lots of fun to be had witnessing men attempting to walk in women’s shoes. Women and youth will walk as well. A 5K Fun Run will precede the walk and is open to everyone. Children’s activities will also be available.

On Oct. 31 beginning at 12 noon — Harbor will also host a silent march at the Johnston County Courthouse to bring awareness to domestic violence.

For more information about Harbor Shelter visit or call (919) 938-3566.