Gary Voices Speak Against an Often Hushed Crime
October 22, 2013 — Some Gary residents are lending their voices to help prevent domestic violence, which otherwise can be a silent crime.
This week, Gary used candlelight to illuminate an issue that can happen in the shadows, using voices that shared a tune and a single goal of awareness. Candlelight vigil participant Caren Jones says, “Because people want to be sort of quiet about it, we need to raise awareness. We need to speak up and let people know it is unacceptable.”
This week’s candlelight vigil marks a week without violence. It’s an effort from the City of Gary and the YWCA of Northwest Indiana to end the silence about domestic violence.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich says, “We all have to come together–law enforcement, domestic violence shelters, social services–everybody coming together to call attention to it and say, ‘If you see something, call someone.’ Do something, and you can save a life.”
Community leaders, youth and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman Wilson raised their own voices for victims silenced by violence. Experts say most cases of domestic violence go unreported. Willie Bolden was at the vigil, and she says, “I talk with them at our Girl Scout meetings about domestic violence, about bullying, about all these things. And it’s happening not around them, in the schools. It’s happening everywhere. And this is something they need to be aware of.”
Vigil candles represented victims of domestic violence, and they shed light on a startling statistic: one in four women will be affected by domestic violence in her lifetime.
Caren Jones reminds victims, “You are not alone. You may think you’re they only one, but you’re not.”
Each person’s voice lit a message that speaking up can be a first step in ending abuse.
By Hilary Powell