Daughters of murdered Canandaigua woman walk with Willow to end domestic violence

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The pain of grief is still very real for the Baker family. Paige, Claire and Jillian Baker are still trying to cope with their mothers death.  Julie Baker was a victim of domestic violence. She was kidnapped and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2020. To keep her memory alive, the girls walk with Willow every year.

“She had so much love for everyone around her, she was the heart of her family, her friends and her community,” Jillian Baker said, in tears.

“It’s really hard to talk about I think about how she was so funny and we always had so much fun, her laugh,” Paige Baker said, also in tears, talking about who her mother was.

They shared why, they think domestic violence is still plaguing the world. They said the power of organizations like Willow, can change that.

“To help reduce domestic violence, Willow does a lot of education especially for young people, like what is and isn’t a healthy relationship,” Paige said.

It was a sea of purple for the 15th annual Walk With Willow. It started at the Stories of Strength mural on the Times Square Building, on Main Street to Parcel 5, then looping back. This year Willow honored the sisters as chairs of the event. Meaghan De Chateauvieux, president and CEO of Willow, says the walks increases their amount of calls, which is the goal.

“Last year’s walk was on the weekend, and then that Monday we had four times the normal amount of calls, so a typical call volume per day is maybe 20 to 25 people, which is still a lot,” De Chateauvieux said.

The Baker girls want anyone who may be a victim of domestic violence to know that there is a way out.

“People can be well meaning, but then they find themselves in an unsafe situation really quickly, and then all of the sudden it becomes difficult to escape,” Paige added.

Willow says there were 45,000 911 calls in Monroe County last year ,who were survivors reaching out for help.

Willow hopes to reach a goal of $50,000 in donations from the walk for that average of calls, to support its mission to end domestic violence.

Willow has a 24 hour hotline. You can call 585-222-SAFE (7233), or text 585-348-SAFE.