23 Bruises: The Lisa King Story


    23 Bruises: The Lisa King Story



    Emerge is celebrating our 10-year “Emergerversary” and we’re holding an event to thank the community for supporting our work in ending domestic abuse in Pima County.

    “Fix the Hurt” theater group will be performing 23 Bruises to stimulate conversation about the issue of domestic abuse, and inspire people to action. We’re asking people to “bring a friend” who might be interested in learning more about domestic abuse as an epidemic in our community.

    You can get more information about the event and RSVP by visiting HERE. Space is limited, so please RSVP!

    This is a rental of The Loft Cinema, presented by Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Emerge! provided DV info: 6400 people served by them in 2018; 55 individuals killed in Pima County due to DV; 13,000 DV calls a year to TPD. CEO Ed Mercurio-Sakwa said that 1 in 10 incidents are reported so there’s a lot of people not being helped. Then 2 actors presented Lisa King’s story of 9 years of abuse by her husband Joe. Lisa was one of 3 sisters who started dating Joe in college and he introduced her to drugs, shoplifting. Joe beat her repeatedly and was arrested due to Orders of Protection, but Lisa wed him secretly, fled a number of times, eventually divorced him and then moved to Texas with her parents.But 3 years later Joe found her, she went back to drugs and then in Sept. 2001 Joe beat her to death (hence the play title of 23 bruises). Joe was only found guilty of aggravated assault w/ a deadly weapon and served 10 years, is back in prison for assault in Florida. Lisa was 28 years old when she was killed.
      Lisa’s parents John & Linda King were present tonight and said they didn’t feel guilty, and their regret is that they blamed Lisa and should have given her more love & praise. They have produced 4 shows and want community to know what victims/parents go through re: DV. Questions for Emerge! employees and parents were 1) is Joe still in prison, 2) what have other families told them 3) why don’t courts/juries stop giving these perpetrators a break 4) how is Emerge! reaching out to the community 5) what intervention programs are there 6) didn’t Joe get any mandated counseling due to the DV arrests 6) did Lisa’s parents ever converse with Joe 7) what would Lisa say now? Parent’s website is http://www.helpfixthehurt.org. 8) how are other King sisters doing (Lauri and Lindsey)? About 35 people at this event tonight.

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