LYNN– After losing her daughter Cheryl Senn to domestic violence more than 20 years ago, Betty Cooper still feels the pain of her loss as if no time has passed.
“I always tell people, treasure your child,” she said. “The worst pain you will ever have is losing a child. I still feel like it just happened.”
In 1997 Senn was stabbed to death by her husband, Peter Eugene, in their home.
“I wish I could have saved her that day,” Cooper said.
“Me and Cheryl would stay up until 3 a.m. talking, she had the best memory. She was always smiling.”
In honor of her late daughter and in support of the ongoing battle against domestic abuse, Betty has participated in the annual Walk for HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change). The walk, which takes place Saturday at Salem Common, helps HAWC raise money to provide services to nearly 3,000 North Shore domestic violence survivors. The goal for Saturday is to raise $100,000.
Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. and the walk will take place at noon. The three-mile walk will also include music and food on the common.
“I do the walk because I don’t want others to be affected by this,” Cooper said.
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, according to HAWC.
Helping and talking people through domestic violence situations is crucial, but can be difficult Cooper said.
“I tell people, treasure yourself, love yourself, but it’s hard.” she said. “Try to talk through it the best way you can.”
With memories flooding back the walk can be tough for Cooper and her family members, but she always overcomes them to show support.
“When it’s time for the walk I still feel sad and emotional but I try to be strong,” she said.