Domestic violence vigil

Serenity House sponsors an annual candlelight vigil to honor victims of domestic violence. The photo is from the 2020 event. This year's vigil will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, on the Colquitt County Courthouse Square.

MOULTRIE, Ga. — The Serenity House of Colquitt County will host its annual candlelight vigil Oct. 21. 

The event is part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and is in honor of those within the community who lost their lives due to domestic violence, Hayley Clark, director of Serenity House, said in an interview Tuesday morning. 

“Last year we remembered 21 women who have lost their lives in Colquitt County due to domestic or family violence,” Clark stated in an email conversation.

This year’s vigil will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Colquitt County Courthouse Square.

The Serenity House aims to provide temporary, emergency shelter and support services to women and children escaping domestic violence and/or sexual assault 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Clark said.

She said that domestic and family violence continues to increase annually. Citing local law enforcement agencies, she said the Moultrie Police Department responded to 194 family violence incidents in 2020, while the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office responded to 239. 

“Serenity House’s goal is to help the members of our community who are dealing with domestic violence, which is a nationwide problem. These numbers continue to increase every year, demanding the continuity of our services,” Clark said.

Last year the Serenity House received 232 crisis calls; provided emergency shelter for 241 men, women and children; provided 3,362 shelter bed nights; provided 10,086 meals and assisted in obtaining 12 temporary protective orders, according to statistics provided by Clark. 

“Our candlelight vigil hopes to remember all those who have been killed or affected by domestic violence but there is nothing that can remedy the loss our community members feel,” Clark said. 

Serenity House hopes to educate the public while providing assistance to those who have been affected. Of those over 3,300 shelter bed nights, the length of stay averages between 30 to 45 days, Clark said.

“We offer much more than a place to stay,” said Clark. 

The Serenity House offers many support groups and counseling services, life skills classes, daycare assistance, financial aid, legal and personal advocacy and much more, Clark said.

If anyone needs assistance, you can contact the Serenity House at 229-890-7233. 

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