FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of violence by an intimate partner.
In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an annual candlelight vigil is being held at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building in Fayetteville to commemorate the victims who have passed away due to domestic violence situations as well as show support to the survivors.
“Today we are celebrating and honoring those of domestic violence and to make people aware of our services, the steps they can take to assist anyone they know that’s in domestic violence situations,” says Belinda Hopkins, a Victim Advocate at AWAY.
AWAY (Advocating for Adults and Youth), formerly known as the Women’s Resource Center, is the host of the vigil.
Along with bringing awareness to domestic violence and giving honor to those involved, the organization is presenting the Incite Hope Award to local law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, and community leaders who protect, support, and seek justice against this type of violence.
“It’s important because they are putting their life on the line every day, every minute that they go out to respond to a domestic violence call,” she says.
Prior to the awards, Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Ciliberti Jr. addresses to everyone who came out to the event that Fayette County law enforcement has zero-tolerance for domestic violence offenses, going on to highlight significant domestic violence prosecutions the department has made over the past few years, as it’s a matter he feels most passionate to defend.
“Crimes of domestic violence are among the most troubling offenses that we deal with within our criminal justice system,” Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Ciliberti says.
Advocates at AWAY encourage anyone who feels like they may be in a domestic violence situation to reach out to them for help.
You can get in touch with AWAY by visiting awaywv.org, finding them on Facebook, or by calling (304)574-0500 to reach the Fayette County hotline.