XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – October is domestic violence awareness month and Family Violence Prevention Center is honoring those who have been impacted.
For more than 20 years, the organization has held a vigil on the first Monday of every October. This year, Child and Family Counselor, Harmony Thoma, said the event will be held virtually to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“We’ve asked people to send in names. It can be anonymous. It can be the first names [of] a loved one that has been touched by domestic violence. We’re going to light a candle in their honor.”
The goal of the vigil is to help people understand how to recognize different forms of domestic violence and educate the community on ways they can help.
“If we’re in a group of people, there’s probably between one and three, or one to five people that you’re in a room with that are experiencing some form of abuse in their life. So it is more common than we think, it’s just something that people don’t typically talk about,” said Thoma.
Simply knowing the signs or how to intervene, she added, is critical and could help stabilize a loved one, or even save their life.
“Domestic violence can be very lethal, leading to death, lots of harm and ripple effects into the family that exists and ongoing families,” she explained.
And beyond the vigil, there are other long-term ways for community members to support victims of domestic violence.
“They can call and ask exactly what we need, but we do have a wish list on Amazon. Monetary donations can be sent in to our address. You’re also welcome to call in and speak to a staff member here at the center.”
Those gifts will go toward providing resources including housing, legal assistance, or even just a listening ear. If you or a loved one is experiencing some form of domestic violence, you can call Family Violence Prevention Center’s 24/7 domestic violence hotline at (937)426-2334 or (937)372-4552.
More domestic violence resources offered across the Miami Valley can be found at WDTN.com.
Click here to view the vigil on Facebook live Monday night at 6 p.m.
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