With candles lit, a crowd of about 100 people gathered in the front of in Stone Mountain on Friday evening to remember family and friends who were victims of domestic violence. The event was hosted by the local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.
“The purpose of this vigil is to acknowledge and create awareness for domestic violence and to inform and educate the public," said Tiffany Bowers, mistress of ceremony. “Domestic violence doesn’t just affect the person being abused; it affects the whole community.”
“Domestic violence affects 1 out of 4 women in their lifetime," Bowers said, adding that in 2009, Georgia was listed tenth in the nation for men killing women.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. The office of the DeKalb solicitor general has a list of warning signs; tips; and national, state and local resources for those who need help.
The somber audience listened as the names of domestic violence victims were read aloud by several Stone Mountain-Lithonia Alumnae chapter debutantes.
During the evening, family members and friends shared the stories of women who were victims of domestic violence. Elana Winfrey spoke of her best friend Irene, who she said was killed this past July as a result of domestic violence. "I knew that something wasn't right," Winfrey said.
“Love never controls," said an emotional Jenell Clark, a member of the sorority. “It will not keep you away from family and friends."
The Stone Mountain Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta held its first domestic violence vigil in July 2002 in response to the slaying of a sorority sister.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. For more information on domestic violence, visit the National Coalition against Domestic Violence.