Bridgeport, Ct. – The Center for Family Justice, with the support of community leaders and law enforcement in the six communities it serves, has scheduled series of vigils to mark the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
These vigils, which all take place at 6 p.m., will honor those who have been impacted by intimate partner violence; raise awareness and inspire hope that the cycles of violence can be broken. The vigils will also remind local residents that domestic violence–which national statistics suggest impacts one out of three women in their lifetime—is a problem in every demographic and community CFJ serves.
Each vigil will include a solemn reading of the names of the 16 people who lost their lives to domestic violence in Connecticut in 2016.
Debra A. Greenwood, CFJ’s President and CEO, will join police chiefs and community leaders in each town, to speak to their hope that the statistics on domestic violence improve with continued dedication to protecting victims and educating the public about prevention. A local survivor of domestic violence will also talk about her experiences and the help she received from CFJ.
“These vigils are solemn, but we also intend for them to be incredibly hopeful and inspiring,” said Greenwood. “We believe that whenever communities comes together to share their commitment to ending the cycles of domestic violence and abuse, real and positive change can and does happen.”
Greenwood stressed that of particular concern this year is the number of domestic violence homicides which have taken place in Connecticut this year in homes where children were present. Two of those tragic events were in Bridgeport. “The conversation we need to begin having is about the long-term consequences for children who witness this kind of abuse,” she said. “It must stop.”
Greenwood noted the vigils also serve the purpose of allowing victims to know that at CFJ there is a safe place, close to home, where they can receive free and comprehensive services. These services include free counseling and emergency shelter. “Every year, I hear a story at a vigil from someone in attendance who feels compelled to come forward with their experiences with domestic violence because of the support they feel at our vigils,” Greenwood said. “That tells me how important it us for us to gather together to hold these events.”
Inspiring vigils were held earlier this week at the Bridgeport Police Department on Oct. 2; the Monroe Town Hall Gazebo on Oct. 3, The Trumbull Library on Oct. 4. and the University of Bridgeport on Oct. 5.
The remaining 2017 vigil schedule continues as follows:
- Tuesday, Oct. 10: Stratford Town Hall
- Wednesday, Oct. 11: Easton Community Center
- Thursday, Oct. 12: Fairfield’s Sherman Green
The vigils begin at 6 p.m., are appropriate for all ages, and open to the public. Members of the press are welcome and encouraged to attend.