Posted: Fri, March 30 2012 at 12:18 AM, Updated: Fri, March 30 2012 at 12:42 AM
A staggering trend in our Valley...
Almost as many deaths as a result of domestic violence as there are months in the year. Tonight the community turned out for a candlelight vigil to shine a light on the problem. NBC5's Laura Cavanaugh reports.
Twelve people dead as a result of domestic violence in Southern Oregon. Four of those deaths in the last week.
"We are here to honor the victims of these murders and support the families in their time of grief," said Gerry Sea.
More than 100 people turned out on the steps of the Jackson County Courthouse Thursday night in a display of solidarity.
"We all have to have courage to stop violence."
They lit candles in remembrance of those lost too soon. Tabasha, Elijah, Isaac, Andrew, and Aurora Criado. Jessica Bethany, Mikaila Upton, Kristy Huddleston, Liesa Werner, and now
Bonny Payne. These are the names of all those lost to domestic violence in just the last year.
"In my mind, the best honoring of those deaths is to reach out."
Those in attendance listened to empassioned pleas and tales from survivors of domestic violence. The message -- to speak up and do something.
"He came up to me one day and said I'd appreciate it if you'd quit calling the police on me. I said I'll quit calling the police when you quit beating your girlfriend."
The vigil sponsored by the Jackson County Council Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. And for the victims, still living in fear, uncertain of the future, a message of hope.
"I want you all to know that not only did I survive, but I was able to move on and find greater happiness than I ever thought possible."
if you suspect or are a victim of domestic or sexual violence, call the 24 hour Community Works help line at (541) 779-4357.