Candlelight vigil shines light on domestic violence

1p1.preview.jpg

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To call attention to the heartbreaking statistics surrounding domestic violence, the Violence Prevention Center invited community members to a candlelight vigil in Grand Marais Harbor Park on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. About 30 people gathered to remember the people who perished in domestic violence incidents this year.
Violence Prevention Center Director Jodi Yuhasey thanked everyone for taking time out of his or her busy life to spend some time in remembrance. She shared the sad statistic that the number of people who have died rose drastically this year. She said to date 23 people in the state of Minnesota have been killed by a spouse or intimate acquaintance.
Yuhasey passed around a basket filled with slips of paper. On each paper was written the name of someone killed in a domestic violence incident, along with his or her age, date of death, cause of death and the relationship of the perpetrator. By candlelight, participants read the information, painfully picturing the violence these people had suffered—often at the hand of those they loved.
There were thoughtful readings of survival and music lending peace to the event. In the beautiful, deepening twilight, those gathered remembered those lost and expressed hope that someday such gatherings will not be needed.
The Violence Prevention Center has been serving Cook County for over 25 years, working with individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence. The candlelight vigil is just one of its many efforts to shine a light on domestic violence and to encourage healthy relationships.
If you would like to volunteer with the Violence Prevention Center of if you need help, visit the Violence Prevention Center at 21 West Second Street (the Norshor Building), call (218) 387-1262, or email hope4u@boreal.org.