Domestic violence victims remembered at vigil

Local advocacy group to honor victims of domestic violence

For DVA month, Belles service organization hosts events every week to gather the community with the goal of bringing domestic violence awareness to campus.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were more than 120,000 cases of domestic violence reported in the state past year, including about 5,000 cases in Duval County.

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S.H.A.R.E. House has been a staple in the Douglas County community providing services to those victims in need of a safe haven when fleeing from domestic violence. "I think in the state in general it's, this is my property, my house, my life, my wife, you don't tell me what to do and we don't have to explain what's happening here". It includes physical, emotional and psychological abuse. It happens everywhere. It happens in North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, James Island, on the Peninsula.

"If we can see it more as an epidemic and less like something that can be ignored, then more victims will find the ability to stand up comfortably and use their voice".

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"It takes a coordinated effort from all corners of the city, including law enforcement, advocates, schools and civic groups to combat the scourge of domestic violence and declare that it will not be tolerated in our community", Mayor Jerry Weiers said. "Those women can be in abusive relationships as well". Every year, there are many that find passion in working to end domestic violence and come together to promote awareness by hosting events, writing articles, and leading campaigns such as #TakeAStand, #ShineALight or #StopTheViolence. Purple is the color associated with domestic violence awareness.

Stevning added that while there has been a focus on the causes of domestic violence and a push to stop it from happening, there has been much less discussion about how children like Faith are impacted by domestic violence.

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"We need people to join in doing anything that they can within the realms of their area and to help to break silence to encourage those who have been harmed to go through conferences and get counseling, to help those who may be potential for harming, or are in a harming situation", Dr. Gottlieb said.

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