It’s been an emotional Monday night for dozens of people in Santa Maria who gathered for a candlelight vigil for victims of domestic violence.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month and Monday night’s vigil helps reveal the ugly truth about the crime that sees a woman in the country become a victim of domestic violence every nine seconds.
The goal of the annual candlelight vigil and procession through downtown Santa Maria hosted by Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara County is to shed light on the tragic toll that domestic violence takes in the community.
“A lot of people may not know this but in the year 2015-2016, we’ve had five women (in Santa Barbara County) who have lost their lives to the hands of their partner”, said Eloisa Patterson with Domestic Violence Solutions, “we are trying to increase awareness of issues regarding domestic violence and so this really allows us to get the message out to the entire community.”
They pounded the pavement along Broadway near Santa Maria High School carrying banners and signs and candles on behalf of the victims, both those who’ve come forward seeking help and those who have chosen to remain in the shadows.
For the survivors, the annual event is an opportunity to share powerful and emotion testimony about the sad reality of domestic violence in so many relationships.
“He doesn’t treat you that way because he’s passionate, he is not violent or jealous because he loves you too much, it isn’t your fault that he gets angry, you cannot love him more or love him better to make him stop”, read one of the organizers from a letter written by a survivor of domestic violence.
Other candlelight vigils are planned in Santa Barbara County for National Domestic Violence Awareness month.