The community will gather at the Overlook stage in Smothers Park on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. for a candlelight vigil to remember those who lost their lives to domestic violence in Kentucky during the past 12 months.
Owensboro Area Shelter and Information Services, also know as OASIS, organizes this annual event.
“Domestic Violence is something that people don’t really want to talk about,” said Tiffany Pearl, interim executive director of OASIS. “We want to talk about it and make sure the community is aware and educated.”
The list of victims to be remembered is made up of about 25 women, including Erica Owen of Owensboro. Owen was killed in her home by an ex-boyfriend against whom she had a domestic violence order.
“The women who are on this list have been murdered by their abusive partners,” Pearl said. “Our main goal is to bring awareness to this issue, provide support and to let the community know that we are here.”
In addition to reading the victim’s names, the event will feature music from Cathy Mullins and Shawn Clifton, a proclamation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month from Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly and a balloon release.
Pearl said attendance at this annual event usually depends on the weather so with cooler temperatures they are expecting a good crowd. Their event on Facebook shows more than 200 people as “interested” or “going.”
OASIS is a domestic violence shelter providing individual and group counseling services, economic stability classes, outreach offices for non-residential counseling and court advocacy. Services are provided in the counties of Daviess, McLean, Henderson, Ohio, Union and Webster.
“Last year we served 538 victims in the shelter and we provided over 29,000 services,” said Pearl. “The outreach office served over 1,200 victims.”
OASIS staff and volunteers will be present during and after the vigil to provide information about services.
“If we can bring awareness to a small group of people and help educate one person as to the warning signs, then the event will be a success,” Pearl said.