Candlelight Vigil Held In Kiwanis Park To Honor Those Lost To Domestic Violence
37 sparklers were lit at Kiwanis Park in Brainerd tonight in memory of the 37 lives lost in Minnesota to domestic violence in the year 2017 and 2018 so far. One in four woman and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“It’s a concern and it’s happening right here in our own state and our own neighborhoods and it’s an issue for everybody, and it’s important that we’re all involved and that we’re all a part of the solution,” said Shannon Wussow, Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center Executive Director.
The Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center holds an annual candlelight vigil in Kiwanis Park and has been doing so for almost 10 years.
“The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women has every year put out a Femicide Report, and we decided that we wanted to do something to honor the individuals who have passed away due to domestic violence,” explained the Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center Shelter Manager Vicki Flor.
“We honor the lives that have been lost in the state of Minnesota all throughout 2017 and then through today’s date in 2018,” added Wussow.
The Women’s Center plays an important role in the community by providing safety, advocacy, and empowerment for victims of domestic violence.
“At least in our community, we have the Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center in our town. Unfortunately, we respond to a lot of domestic violence in our job, so if we can, get a little education and raise some awareness for it,” said Paul Dooley, Brainerd Police Department Sergeant. “Let the victims know that there’s help out there.”
The Women’s Center decided to hold the annual vigil to honor victims and to also bring awareness to an issue that so many face.
“Domestic violence is growing and we need to put a stop to it, and in order to do that we have to educate our community members and make people aware that this is a real thing that does truly happen,” said Flor.