Candlelight Vigils Focus Attention on Domestic Abuse
The Center for Family Justice Schedules Six Area Vigils
to Remember Victims and Survivors
Bridgeport, Ct. – The Center for Family Justice, in cooperation with local community leaders and law enforcement, has scheduled a series of six vigils to commemorate the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
These vigils serve to honor those who have been impacted by domestic violence, raise awareness and inspire hope that the cycle of violence can be broken. They also serve to remind local residents that domestic violence can and does happen in every demographic and every community CFJ serves.
At each vigil, the names of the twelve victims of domestic violence homicides in the year from throughout Connecticut will be read in a solemn honor roll. Then, community leaders and Debra A. Greenwood, CFJ’s President and CEO, will join together to speak to their hope that the statistics on domestic violence can and will improve with continued dedication to serving and protecting victims and educating the public about awareness and prevention.
“While vigils are by their nature solemn, we also consider them hopeful celebrations,” said Greenwood. “We gather together to express our heartfelt belief that by joining together in solidarity we can make great strides in ending the abusive cycles that impact individuals and families in every community we serve.”
Greenwood noted the vigils also serve the purpose of allowing victims to know that at CFJ there is a safe place, close to their homes, for them to receive free and comprehensive services. These services include free counseling and emergency shelter. “We hope the atmosphere we create at our vigils will allow people living in abusive situations the strength and courage to come forward and seek help,” says Greenwood. “Often, we are approached at our vigils by people experiencing abuse who make that first important step towards getting the support they need.”
CFJ’s vigils are attended each year by community leaders, representatives of law enforcement, survivors of domestic violence and local residents dedicated to eradicating local communities of abuse. In many instances, local students participate in its vigils, demonstrating their hope and commitment to a future free of domestic violence.
This year, The Center has scheduled six vigils, all beginning at 6 p.m.:
- Monday, October 3: Easton Community Center, Easton
- Tuesday, October 4: Stratford Town Hall, 2725 Main St., Stratford
- Wednesday, October 5: University of Bridgeport, Student Center.
- Thursday, October 6: Monroe Town Hall Green, Monroe.
- Thursday, October 13: Town Gazebo, Sherman Green, Fairfield
- Tuesday, October 18: Nichols Improvement Association, Trumbull
These vigils are appropriate for all ages and are open to the public.
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR FAMILY JUSTICE
The Center for Family Justice Inc. (formerly The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County Inc.), brings all domestic, sexual and child abuse services – crisis intervention, police, prosecutors, civil/legal providers, counseling – under one roof, in our headquarters in Bridgeport, CT. Together, we work to break the cycle of violence by helping those in crisis restore their lives. Although our name has changed, we continue with the work we have provided for 12 decades, providing free, confidential, bilingual crisis services in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. It is the comprehensive services our partners are providing that are streamlining the road to healing and self-sufficiency.
Within the past year, The Center answered more than 1000 calls on a 24-hour crisis hotline; assisted with the civil and criminal court processes for more than 2,500 survivors of domestic violence; responded to more than 500 survivors of sexual assault and their families; provided a safe home for more than 100 women and children fleeing domestic abuse; coordinated the investigations of more than 170 cases of child sexual and severe physical abuse, developing service plans for the young survivors and their families; and provided psycho-educational support to more than 1,200 survivors of domestic violence, planning for their safety and promoting self-sufficiency.
As part of our mission, The Center educates approximately 4,000 members of the community about the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse to prevent future violence and spread the word that about the services we offer at The Center for Family Justice. Annually, we teach more than 2,000 children and teens about building healthy relationships, bullying prevention and dating violence.
For more information, visit www.CenterForFamilyJustice.org.