Murdered on her 21st birthday, Mary Byron's legacy is the safety net for crime victims across America
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On December 6, 1993, Mary Byron was shot six times at point blank range by a former boyfriend. It was her 21st birthday.
Mary's murderer had been released from jail earlier in the day. He was facing trial on charges of kidnapping and raping her. He bought a gun and waited for her as she left work. She had no way to know.
Mary's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky created the first automated system to notify victims of a perpetrator's status - VINE® - in response to her murder. Twenty years and millions of calls, texts, and emails later, hundreds of thousands use VINE® in 47 states.
"Information is power. Mary's legacy is what VINE® does every day to empower victims and their families," said Mary's mother Pat Byron. "On her birthday I want every victim to know the safety net is there for them."
Mary's murder exposed a profound gap in public safety. Today hundreds of thousands of victims, law enforcement, court personnel, and concerned citizens stay up-to-date with criminal proceedings, court information, and protective orders.
Funding Available to Communities
The national reach of Mary Byron's legacy grew in 2000 when Appriss, the company that developed VINE® started the Mary Byron Project. The public charity raises funds to encourage replication of proven and innovative community solutions to end domestic violence throughout the US. It has invested more than $600,000 in 35 model programs, including:
- Expect Respect School-Based Services Program provides counseling for youth hurt by domestic, sexual, and dating violence
- Mentors in Violence Prevention Program – using male and female athletes to reduce gender violence
Applications for the Mary Byron Project's next round of grants are due on December 22, 2013.
Next the Mary Byron Project will team up with Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear to launch WorkSafe and train employers to assist employees in violent relationships. Workplace violence costs employers an estimated $121 billion a year nationwide and more than 876,000 lost workdays.
SOURCE The Mary Byron Project