Remembering victims of domestic violence
The lives of 24 Durham residents who died in domestic violence since 2010 were remembered Tuesday evening as candles were lit during a solemn vigil.
The faith-based gathering was sponsored by the Durham Crisis Response Center, and drew more than 50 people to CCB Plaza downtown.
“Domestic violence affects everyone in one way or another,” said center spokeswoman Tammy Donald, herself a victim of domestic violence. “One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.”
Donald said that experience of violence extends to family, friends, children, neighbors and co-workers.
“It knows no color or socioeconomics,” she said. “Any one of us at any time could become a victim.”
Everyone is a survivor of something, she said.
“Some of us have survived abuse; some of us have survived the loss of someone who fell victim to abuse,” she said. “We have all survived a loss, a hard economy, heartbreak.”
Donald called on others to support victims, create awareness “and simply stand by and love our mothers, friends, neighbors, sisters and even strangers so they, too, may become blessed by survivorship.”
The Rev. Ingram Hedgpeth, the center’s board chairman, said it was shocking that two dozen people died from domestic violence in Durham in the past three years.
“Any time you’re in a group, just look around,” he said. “One in four women and one in six men have been or will be affected in some way by domestic violence. It’s really everywhere.”
But Hedgpeth said there is reason for hope.
“We bear witness to the horrible violence that has happened to other humans, and we want people to know that this doesn’t have to continue,” he said. “There are places like the Crisis Response Center where people can get help.”
Hedgpeth called domestic violence a societal evil.
“I think what we’re doing tonight is to shed light on evil,” he said. “Evil tends to run where the light comes on.”
Bringing the problem into the light, he said, offers a chance to stem the tide.
“That’s the hope,” he said. “That’s the goal – to put an end to this.”
For more information, contact the center at 919-403-9425 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.durhamcrisisresponse.org or the thrift store, Pennies for Change, at 2715 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.