Following a welcome from Senior Pastor Robert I. Smith, Family Violence Program Director Angie Faulkner invited survivors to speak.
“We are advocates for victims who are unable to find their voice,” Faulkner said. “We believe each and every individual has the right to live their lives without fear.”
Dr. Cheryl Johns, co-pastor at New Covenant Church of God and a professor at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary spoke to the victims, their families, those who work with the victims of dating and sexual violence and guests before the candlelight vigil began.
Amber Hoskins, Rape and Sexual Assault program manager for the Family Violence Program of The Family Resource Agency believes it is important for people to attend awareness events and vigils because it is a good way for them to be educated about this issue and to honor the victims who have suffered and died.
According to Hoskins there are many victim-blaming beliefs in our society because there is a lack of true understanding about the issue.
“When people begin to understand the dynamics of domestic violence, they become less judgmental and more understanding and empathetic to the plight of DV victims.”
A candlelight vigil is just one of the many local events planned by The Family Resource Agency’s, Family Violence Program. It is focused on making the public aware through education which in turn may invigorate action.
Those who want to volunteer or give monetary donations or clothing items, toiletries, cleaning products, etc., for the shelter may contact volunteer coordinator Sherry Hayes at 303-3515.
The Family Resource Agency is located at 3680 Michigan Ave. Its mission is to serve families, children, and adults in ways that improve their quality of life, and enable them to be more self-sufficient, productive members of the community.