In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Oasis Women’s Shelter hosted their annual candlelight vigil Thursday evening at Smothers Park — this year remembering 17 victims of domestic violence in the Green River District.
One victim, Hannah Fuller, was from Daviess County.
Executive Director Andrea Robinson said while October is a month dedicated to awareness, Oasis recognizes it every day. The organization provides shelter services and non-residential services to survivors of domestic violence including therapy, counseling housing and many other tools.
During the vigil, Megan Jackson, a survivor of domestic violence, spoke about her experience and how Oasis has helped her.
When she was initially asked to speak, Jackson said she thought there was no way to put words on paper to describe her “life-altering moment.” Then thoughts of her abuser finding out and being there flooded through her mind.
“What’s given me the courage to be here today is the realization that the silence of these issues lead to the loss of life,” Jackson said.
She began to tell the survivors that regardless of what they endured, they are not broken and are able to gather themselves and continue.
As she continued with her speech, she became overwhelmed with emotions, preventing her from finishing.
“In my head, I had this idea that I was going to be so calm and eloquently deliver this speech and it would be rewarding for me, which this is. But, this is what happens to you when you leave,” Jackson said.
After Jackson spoke, Robinson commended her for being brave enough to share her story with the community.
“She was very brave sharing her story today. We are grateful that she chose to do it with us today and we hope that it reaches somebody,” Robinson said.
This year is Oasis’ 40th year of operation, and Robinson said they plan to expand their housing program to assist survivors and grant them more resources. Over the last year, they found the pandemic decreased the victims’ ability to get services through Oasis due to the housing requirements.
Officials hope now that they are coming out of the pandemic to be able to be more visible and help the community.