Candlelight vigil to spotlight domestic violence
by MELISSA SNYDER, Banner Lifestyles Writer
Oct 17, 2010 | 2232 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The annual vigil to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month will be Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.

Dr. Cheryl Johns, co-pastor at New Covenant Church of God and a professor at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary will be the guest speaker.

The event is also geared toward the victims of domestic violence and their families by sharing the resources and assistance that is available for them. Those who work with victims of domestic, dating and sexual violence across the nation are planning similar events to make the public aware, to educate and to invigorate action.

A candlelight vigil is just one of the many local events planned by The Family Resource Agency’s, Family Violence Program.

Survivors of domestic violence will also be sharing their stories at the vigil. Amber Hoskins, Rape and Sexual Assault program manager for the Family Violence Program of The Family Resource Agency, wants to encourage the public to attend.

“I believe it is important for them to come because it is a good way for people to be educated about this issue,” Hoskins said. “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.”

Hoskins believes when society better understands the domestic violence issue people will be better able to help the victim as well as hold abusers accountable for their behavior.

“This year at the vigil we will take a deeper look into what really goes on inside the home where physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse take place,” said Hoskins. “Another important reason why we encourage people to attend is so we can honor victims who have been affected by domestic violence; those who have survived it, and those who have not because they were killed at the hands of their abuser.”

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief/Intimate Partner Violence, on average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. In one year, 1,247 men killed their intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30 percent of the murders of women and 5 percent of the murders of men.

Women accounted for 85 percent of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15 percent.

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.