Domestic violence rally in Kent: ‘We have a long way to go'

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg speaks Oct. 2 at a domestic-violence awareness rally at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg speaks Oct. 2 at a domestic-violence awareness rally at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Carol Greco lost a sister to domestic violence five years ago.

Greco, of Federal Way, told the story about her sister to a reporter after Greco attended a law enforcement rally for domestic violence awareness month Friday outside of the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Judiann Hughes, 31, was shot to death by her husband, Lathan Hughes, on May 6, 2004, at their Spanaway home. Later that night, Lathan Hughes dropped off their three children at a relative's home. A few hours later, he shot and killed himself in front of Tukwila Police officers at an empty parking lot near the Southcenter Mall.

“That was a nightmare and it still continues,” Greco said. “Those kids are living without their parents.”

The couple had been together 11 years and married for seven years. Greco and two other sisters were unaware of the relationship problems at their sister's home.

“She hid it,” said Joanne Greco, of Federal Way, one of three sisters of Hughes who attended the rally.

Lori Haeseler, of Renton, the third sister, is raising Hughes' three children. The children are ages 17, 15 and 13.

In remembrance of Hughes and to help others, the sisters will hold their third annual Skate to Stop Domestic Violence from 5-7 p.m Oct. 10 at the Auburn Skate Connection, 1825 Howard Road.

Participants can skate and rent skates for free. All donations will be given to the Auburn Domestic Violence Task Force. For more information, call 253-833-4990.

“Our sister was a champion roller skater,” Carol Greco said. “That's why we hold it at a skate rink.”

The Auburn Domestic Violence Task Force sponsored the rally Friday to recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness month.

King County Sheriff's Office deputies and police officers from Kent, Auburn, Federal Way, Tukwila, Maple Valley and the Port of Seattle attended the rally.

The deputies and officers lined up their cars along the sidewalk on Fourth Avenue in front of the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center to show their support to help stop domestic violence.

“We have made a lot of progress, but there still is a long ways to go,” said King County Sheriff Sue Rahr, who spoke at the rally. “It's important to remind ourselves that it took a lot of work to get here, but we can't let up, even with tight budgets.”

Rahr told about how when she started as a King County deputy in 1979 there was no training about how to handle domestic-violence cases and no domestic violence laws or advocacy groups.

“The only real goal was to separate the two for the night,” said Rahr, who added officers now follow strict protocols about cases with elements of domestic violence .

Change really began in the 1980s, with state laws designed to help protect and get help for the victim, and to put the abuser in jail.

“But we have only treated the symptoms of domestic violence,” King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said at the rally. “We have a long way to go to cure domestic violence.”

Satterberg presented the 13th annual Norm Maleng Law Enforcement Award to three officers at the rally in recognition of their efforts to combat domestic violence.

The three officers included detective Kathy Bumpus of the Des Moines Police and Sgt. Michael Meyers and Sgt. Barclay Pierson of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention.

Bumpus was honored for her dedication to ensure the safety of domestic violence victims and their children and to stop the generational spread of the cycle of violence.

Meyers and Pierson were honored for their development of a system to track and record all outgoing telephone calls by inmates.

The development of the phone-recording system has helped catch inmates violating court orders and has led to early guilty pleas of witness tampering, order violations and other crimes.

For more information about domestic violence, go to the Domestic Abuse Women's Network at www.dawnonline.org or call DAWN's 24-hour crisis hotline at 425-656-7867.


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