Domestic violence candlelight vigil

Domestic violence impacts women, men and children of every age, background, and belief. Nearly one in four women and one in seven men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner. Victims are deprived of their autonomy, liberty, and security, and face tremendous threats to their health and safety. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we reaffirm our dedication to forging a community where no one suffers the hurt and hardship that domestic violence causes.

Every nine seconds a woman in Kentucky suffers violence at the hands of her partner or former partner. One in three Kentucky Women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and 95 percent of all reported domestic violence is committed against women. Families from all walks of life experience this devastating problem, which impacts the safety and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Domestic violence thrives when we are silent; but if we take a stand and work together, we can raise awareness about domestic violence and join in our efforts to end violence. Here is what you can do:

• Make a donation to HCDVC (Harlan County Domestic Violence Council) in honor of the people in your life who have been impacted by domestic violence;

• Wear purple — the color of Domestic Violence Awareness Month — during the month of October and use this as a way to tell others why ending domestic violence is important to you;

• Change your social media profile and cover photos to show that you stand with HCDVC as we remember those who have lost their lives and celebrate those who have survived;

• Actively participate in the scheduled activities and programs of Harlan County Domestic Violence Council and Cumberland Valley Domestic Violence Services.

On Thursday, HCDVC and Cumberland Valley Domestic Violence Services will hold a Candlelight Vigil on the Courthouse Lawn (Central Street Entrance) at 7 pm to mourn the loss of lives to domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived and connect with others to make our homes and community safer. There will be special guest speakers, live music, door prizes, refreshments and information available.

Harlan County Domestic Violence Victim Advocate, Sheryl Caudel at 606-392-1129 or Carla Hartsell at 606-573-4236.