BECKLEY, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – Every October, AWAY- formerly known as the Women’s Resource Center- holds a vigil to remember the victims lost to domestic violence and celebrate those that have transitioned from victims to survivors.
Reginia Thomas, Executive Director of AWAY, says each county that AWAY serves will host its own vigil. Raleigh County’s will be held at Word Park at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 26. Nicholas County’s vigil will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 21. Vigil plans for Fayette and Summers County have yet to be announced.
During the vigils, family, friends and community members will gather to light candles and have a moment of silence. Survivors will share their stories and work to educate the public on domestic violence.
Leading up to the vigil, AWAY will be sharing posts related to domestic violence awareness on its Facebook page. The center’s in-house coordinator will also be releasing weekly “Safe Place with Ellen” segments on YouTube and Facebook. According to Thomas, these segments will raise further awareness about domestic violence.
Raleigh County Residents may also notice purple ribbons displayed throughout Beckley. These ribbons, which are a sign to stand against domestic violence and speak out to stop abuse, were placed by those at AWAY and will remain up until the end of the month.
“It’s just so important to raise awareness,” Thomas said. “Some people may be in a domestic violence situation and not even know it. During the month, we will discuss and share the warning signs of an abuser. The abuse doesn’t always have to be physical. It can be emotional abuse and financial abuse on top of the physical abuse: a black eye or bruised arm- the things you see. Learning those signs may help a person get out of that situation that could be dire if they don’t get out.”
In that past, AWAY has also dedicated time in October to community awareness by getting into different areas of the state and hosting events. Because of COVID, these efforts have been pushed back, but Thomas says they are working hard to restart those events.
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