At a vigil to honor the victims and survivors of domestic violence, Redondo Beach resident Pat Dreizler received the first annual Visionary Award.
Dreizler, who has lived in Redondo Beach for more than 50 years, was involved in the creation and implementation of numerous battered women's shelters, including the 1736 House, Redondo Beach police Chief Joe Leonardi said as he presented her with the award. She also started resource programs for battered women.
When she worked at the city, "Pat would do simple things," Leonardi said. "She had a special fund for people who were in difficult situations."
She also kept food at her desk and a network of people who could help nearby.
Always humble, Dreizler thanked the people who laid the groundwork for her work. "Without people, there are no visions," she said.
In an email to Patch, Ericka Sazo-Gonzalez, the coordinator for the Redondo Beach Police Department's Domestic Violence Victim's Advocacy Program, said Dreizler was chosen for the award "for her leadership in confronting the devastating problem of family violence long before we had the resources and help we available now."
In addition to honoring Dreizler with the Visionary Award, the annual candlelight vigil featured music from Saturday Night Bath, and speakers from the various victim's advocacy programs in the area.
Two survivors of domestic violence also spoke. Both noted that even if there are no external bruises, verbal abuse is still domestic violence.
"The truth is … our self-worth—our self esteem—has been attacked and taken away from us," one woman said. "It's not right."
"I think all of our hearts are full tonight," said Mayor Mike Gin when it came time to light the candles. "It's been an evening of … courage. … (Redondo Beach) really, truly is—as the chief said—a village."