Parnell has made fighting domestic violence a long-term goal, and he campaigned on the issue last fall, when he ran for his first full term after replacing former Gov. Sarah Palin.
Looking forward to the day when a shelter for those fleeing domestic violence is no longer necessary, Parnell told KWRCC staff he is with them in the effort to end domestic abuse.
“We just love the fact that you guys care enough to do this work and we want to support you in it,” he said.
Parnell has called domestic violence an epidemic in Alaska. He began Choose Respect marches throughout the state to spread awareness and signed three bills toughening penalties for domestic violence.
Parnell’s trip to KWRCC came after a meeting at the Kodiak Launch Complex.
While at KWRCC, Parnell presented center executive director Rebecca Shields a check for $800, representing leftover funds raised on the island for the Kodiak Inaugural Gala held in January.
“It’s not a lot but it will stretch,” Parnell said. “We very much appreciate the work that you guys do and just wanted you to know that your work is important to us. It’s important to the people here in this community, and I’m very happy to give it to you.”
Parnell said his goal in 2012 is to have 100 communities participate in Choose Respect marches, up from the 64 that marched this spring.
“Every time you host those (marches), we get more people that ask for help and who understand that they don’t have to live like that,” Parnell said. “By participating in those rallies, you give courage to others.”
After touring the facility and presenting the check, Parnell spoke to KWRCC board members about the greatest needs of the organization, including the need for additional transitional housing.
The KWRCC had originally invited Parnell to today’s 5:30 p.m. candlelight vigil at the St. James the Fisherman church, but his schedule could not accommodate the event. The vigil is a remembrance of those who have lost their lives to domestic violence, and the public is invited to attend.
Contact Mirror writer Wes Hanna at whanna@kodiak