A few nights ago, some 100 or more people gathered for a candlelight vigil in the courthouse annex here in Moultrie, honoring the memory of those who have died as a result of domestic violence.

Since 1987, 21 people in Colquitt County were fatal victims of this scourge. Many hundreds more were injured physically and/or psychologically at the hands of domestic abusers.

As speakers at the vigil condemned this violence, it was noted that many cases of domestic abuse never get reported. Upon that note, we encourage our community to get more involved in efforts to stem such actions. Be aware of your co-workers and neighbors. If you suspect such violence, try to counsel with them and encourage them to get help.

One speaker said early on in her issue she thought she could change her mate. She couldn’t. In fact there are no data to even suggest this is a viable option.

Meanwhile, we have a great facility here in our community called Serenity House. This shelter can protect victims, and its staff and associations can help a victim reclaim a peaceful, productive life.

Serenity House was launched in 2000 when a Moultrie Observer staffer, Kim Nunez, was murdered by her husband just a couple of blocks from her workplace.

This incredibly sad event resembles many more that have occurred since that tragic Friday afternoon.

Routinely our crime reports list cases of domestic violence that by some miracle did not result in a death. But we must wonder just how close some of these incidents have come to that extreme tragedy.

 Domestic violence is no more a closet issue. It’s high profile. And there are people who can help.

If you are a victim, please seek help. If you are a witness, don’t turn a blind eye. Get involved. If you need information about domestic violence, Serenity House and law enforcement can help.

 

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