Domestic Violence Crisis Center will go online this year to host its "Voices of Courage Virtual Spring Luncheon" on May 21 from 11:45 to 1 p.m. The event's keynote speaker is Rachel Louise Snyder, award-winning journalist and author of No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us. Her acclaimed book was named one of the New York Times "Top 10 Books of the Year," National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, and most recently an LA Times Book Prize finalist. To purchase tickets to the online event, visit https:\/\/bit.ly\/voctickets or call (203)517-5140. "Rachel Louise Snyder's work is bringing a new level of understanding and awareness about domestic violence issues in America today. We are so proud to have her as our speaker," said Suzanne Adam, DVCC's Executive Director. "The timing of her presentation is really poignant during the COVID-19 crisis, where we have seen so many reports of domestic violence victims being especially vulnerable because of stay-at-home orders." "While we struggle with the Covid19 pandemic, we need to recognize that there is a shadow pandemic of domestic violence happening behind closed doors. The UN estimates an additional 31 million victims of domestic violence globally during the next six months because of Covid; this number is alarming, certainly. But it is also a call to action. We cannot hope to solve it, to address the needs of scores of victims and their children, if we don't start locally. The issue is always important. Now, it is urgent, because #stayathome does not always mean #safeathome,"\u202fsaid Rachel Louise Snyder. The virtual event will include an online welcome and award presentation. Ellen Lubell, an attorney, volunteer, and philanthropist,\u202fwho has worked on\u202fbehalf of\u202fdomestic violence victims for more than thirty\u202fyears\u202fwill receive the Voices of Courage Award. Peggy Brown, who has shown unwavering support and commitment to helping victims of domestic violence in Fairfield County, will receive the Kathy Kincaid Award for "giving above and beyond." "We are asking people to come together to connect with friends online, order lunch to support a favorite local restaurant, be a part of the important conversation with Rachel Louise Snyder, and support DVCC." said Adam. Sponsors include: Jim & Dede Bartlett Fdn, Ellen Lubell, Marge Nickel, Janill &Sahul Sharma, Lynn & John Watkins, Terese Ceruzzi, Norwalk Hospital, Pat & Bob Phillips, Judith Udell, Wendy Herrick & David Owens, Kim & Bill Holmes, Stamford Health, UBS, Peggy & Jim Brown, Robin & Dick Woods, Benefit Shop Foundation Auction Gallery, Camsan Inc., Marcia Hamelin & Dennis Tracey, NFL, Torana Inc., and Zumbach's Coffee. Now in its 40th year, DVCC is here to support individuals on their journey to safety.\u202f DVCC advocates for individuals who are experiencing abuse in personal relationships. DVCC's mission is to provide effective services, support and education for the prevention and elimination of domestic violence across the Connecticut communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Weston, Westport, Wilton and beyond. For more information visit www.dvccct.org. If you or someone you know needs help, please call DVCC's 24-hour hotline at 888-774-2900.