Weekend event pays tribute to victim of domestic violence

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – In December 2011, Harrisburg school teacher Tarina Fields-Price was fatally shot by her estranged husband outside their home.

Shanelle Watson, her cousin, remembers getting the phone call that shook the foundation of her entire family.

“It is a night that we will never forget,” Watson said. “It stays with you.”

It has been nearly five years since the shooting, and Watson decided to put together a masquerade gala in Tarina’s honor. The theme is “Story Behind The Mask” and it focuses on empowering women who keep their abusive situations to themselves.

“A lot of victims do not tell what is going on,” Watson said. “The mask is a cover up, and Tarina was one person that always smiled through all of the pain she was enduring all the way up until her tragic death. And her smile was her mask.”

Watson created more than a dozen masks that will be centerpieces on tables during Saturday night’s event. She says they all look different, because every victim’s journey is different.

“We want people to stop being silent with such an epidemic of domestic violence in every county and every neighborhood,” Watson said. “We want people to know there are others out there who will support their pain and there are services that can help.”

Saturday’s gala is sold out, but people can still make donations to the John Paul Scott Community Church in Tarina’s name or make direct contributions to the Dauphin County Victim/Witness Assistance Program. Watson says the program provided assistance to her family from the time Tarina was shot, all the way through the conviction of her estranged husband and beyond.

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