EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Dozens gathered at the Fenner Nature Center in Lansing tonight for a vigil marking domestic violence awareness month.
It not only served as a moment to remember victims, but also gave survivors the opportunity to share their stories.
“We want everyone to know that there are free 24-7 confidential resources and it also just shows the survivors that the community is behind them, that we are willing to do whatever for them to heal on their journey, and that we’re going to support them throughout that process.”
Leah Dryer is the Director of Community Outreach for the non-profit End Violent Encounters, or EVE. Dryer co-hosted the event with Capital Area Response Effort and Michigan State University’s Safe Place.
The groups came together to host the vigil with the goal of raising awareness of domestic violence as well as erasing the stigma around it.
“I think while October gives us an opportunity to highlight it, it’s important to remember that survivors are going through these experiences every day and face challenges daily. And there are advocates out there that are helping 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Rosalind Arch, Director of Capital Area Response Effort.
Between the Survivor Stories and Vigil, writer Nicole Beverly also shared her experience. She says by that doing that it’s helped other survivors come forward.
“It’s taking the stigma away from other victims who might be fearful and embarrassed, and they never spoken those words before and for them its an empowering moment and its a way of taking back their power,” said Nicole Beverly, a writer and domestic violence survivor.