Community supports domestic violence awareness in memory of Erica Owen

August 8, 2018 | 4:00 am

Updated August 8, 2018 | 4:51 pm

Photo by AP Imagery

LeAnne Curry didn’t know what to do after the death of her best friend, Erica Owen.

Owen, a 25-year-old nurse, had placed a domestic violence order against her former boyfriend, Matthew Adams. Adams was later charged with her July 3 death.

Curry has since set out to bring domestic violence awareness to the community and keep her friend’s memory alive through purple ribbons that others can display on their mailboxes. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, “the purple ribbon is a unifying symbol of courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending domestic violence.”

Curry approached Welborn Floral & Event to supply the ribbon, a request that Sales Manager Jean Saalwaechter says was easy to grant. “We’re just trying to do our part to bring awareness,” Saalwaechter said.

Welborn’s has made around 150 bows to date, with 100 bows requested within the first 24 hours.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Curry said. “Erica was an amazing person who touched the lives of all who knew and loved her. I am truly blessed to have been lucky enough to call her my friend.”

While the bows are meant to bring awareness to domestic violence, Curry says a $5 donation is encouraged. Any money that is collected will be donated in memory of Lauren Girten, a high school friend of Erica’s that lost her life to cancer.

Rece Owen, Erica’s father, has started a similar campaign in honor of his daughter. Two car decals are currently available through Mr. Owens’ Facebook page. One decal is simply a purple ribbon with Erica’s name and the second, a stethoscope in the shape of a heart with Erica’s name inside. The $5 donation with each decal will benefit the Erica Noel Owen Scholarship fund at Owensboro Community and Technical College.

“Erica loved school and loved her career,” Rece Owen said. “It was just a natural fit for her.”

Donations from Erica’s immediate family have already established two scholarships at OCTC and Mr. Owen hopes the decals will only add more scholarship money for aspiring nurses. So far nearly 200 have been requested.

Most importantly, just like Curry, Mr. Owen wants to shed light on domestic violence and bring awareness to women, but also men.

“I want to reach out to young men of this community to make sure they know how important it is to never cross that line,” Mr. Owen said.

August 8, 2018 | 4:00 am

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