When more than 50 friends of Jennifer Farber Dulos came to the University of St. Joseph last year for the first annual walk to raise awareness to domestic violence, Interval House director Mary Jane Foster knew exactly what she wanted to do - name the walk in honor of the mother of five missing since May of 2019.
With the walk scheduled this year only a few days after what would have been Jennifer’s 52nd birthday, Foster thought it was an appropriate honor. It has been renamed Interval House Hartford’s “Purple with a Purpose: The Jennifer Farber Dulos Memorial Walk to End Domestic Violence.''
“Her case has resonated with so many people all across the state and country,” Foster said. “One of the things that makes the Dulos case so gripping is people generally don’t believe wealthy, highly attractive people experience domestic violence so when a case of this magnitude happens people are shocked by it.”
Interval House provides counseling, support and emergency housing for victims of domestic violence. The coronavirus has changed the plans for a large group walk, but Foster said people can either organize their own groups and walk on their own between Oct. 1 and 4. They can also just make a donation.
Many of Jennifer’s friends are planning their own version of the walk again this year.
Caroline Buckley said she has already raised more than $3,000 in Jennifer’s honor.
“People feel strongly that they want to remember her and support Interval House to hopefully help others,” Buckley said. “She left us a year and a half ago and all of her friends here still feel a deep, deep sense of loss.”
Buckley said people also want to take the attention away from the others involved in the case and her estranged husband who lived in the Farmington area.
“He (Dulos) shouldn’t define her story,” Buckley said. “People need a purpose and to feel like they are doing something, especially since she hasn’t been found. I think people want to stand up and be counted and to honor her.”
Jennifer Farber Dulos' family mentioned the walk in a statement released over the weekend acknowledging her birthday, which was Sunday.
“We are moved that Interval House is memorializing Jennifer in this effort to help others experiencing intimate partner violence. Jennifer’s case has received a great deal of attention, but the stories of most victims and survivors of partner violence are never told,” family spokeswoman Carrie Luft said.
“We encourage those who can do so to support Interval House, either by sponsoring a walking team or making a direct donation. Please keep Jennifer in your hearts and honor her strength and love by supporting ‘Purple with a Purpose.’”
Farber Dulos has been missing since the morning of May 24, 2019 when she was last seen dropping her five children off at a private school not too far from her New Canaan home. State police believe that her estranged husband Fotis Dulos was “lying in wait” for her back at her house and killed her in the garage of her New Canaan home.
Her body has never been found. Fotis Dulos was eventually arrested for the murder of his estranged wife but died last January after tying to kill himself in the garage of their former Farmington home. He left a suicide note denying that he killed his wife.
The couple had been going through a contentious two-year divorce. While Farber Dulos never claimed she was abused, in court filings she described an incident where he screamed at her through a locked door and another time when he allegedly tried to hit her with a car. Dulos denied all of the allegations.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and Foster said agencies all over the state will be holding fund-raisers and virtual walks.
During the months of April through June, when people have been quarantined together because of the pandemic, the Interval House has seen a 58 percent increase in cases over the same three month period last year. In those three months Interval House received more than 17,000 calls.
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