Brookline resident and Town employee, Pat Norling, is the founder of the Jennifer A. Lynch Committee Against Domestic Violence which was named in memory of her daughter. Jennifer Lynch was also a Brookline resident and a Town employee before moving to Oregon where she was murdered by her husband on Valentine’s Day, 2006. Despite suffering such an enormous and tragic loss, Pat dedicated her energies to raising awareness around the issue of domestic violence and connecting victims with services.  For this work, Pat Norling was the 2015 recipient of the Roger Grande Social Justice Award, presented at the 5th Annual Brookline Youth Awards. She was honored for her efforts to teach our young people about domestic violence, how to gravitate toward healthy relationships, while reminding us all to never forget domestic violence victims.

We interviewed Pat Norling for the Youth Awards event, which featured video interviews of outstanding teenagers and the adults whose actions inspired them. We produced a three-minute version of this interview for the event, but we’re presenting the nearly 30-minute version here. Pat’s courage, determination, resiliency, humanity, and ability to candidly share her experience are gifts to us all.

In this frank interview, Pat talks in vivid detail about what her family experienced after Jennifer’s murder. Norling takes us on her journey from not wanting to see another day to becoming a tireless advocate for those trapped in the cycle of domestic violence. Norling’s message about how to spot the signs of abuse is essential education.

We should warn you that at times this video is painful to watch. Pat’s candor is at times startling and the viewer is taken to uncomfortable places. My cameraman and I cried during most of it; it’s hard stuff. Not many people have the courage to share their vulnerable moments in order to help others. Maybe what makes it the hardest is Pat Norling is such an easy person to love and while listening you wish that she hadn’t had to go though what she did. Nobody should. But sometimes the hardest things to hear are the most important.

We hope you can take the time to watch this video and pass it on to others. Domestic violence impacts thousands of lives every year. We believe what Pat Norling has to say is essential for the community to hear.

—R. Harvey Bravman, Publisher