Vigil held to remember victims, help put an end to domestic violence

Posted at 10:50 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-01 22:50:36-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich-- The YWCA was joined by community members Monday, as a vigil was held to help put an end to domestic violence.

The ceremony was held at the YWCA West Central Michigan location and featured candles as well as poetry that shared the names of those who lost their lives as a result of domestic violence.

Organizers say, while they hope to put an end to the violence, it's also important to support the survivors.

"It provides some opportunity of healing for the survivors to remember those who have died but to celebrate with those who have survived," said Eileen McKeever, the Program Director of Domestic Violence Crisis Services

McKeever says it's also important to listen and say survivors need to be supported when coming forward.

"I think it’s something people continue to be afraid to talk about both domestic and sexual violence. They may be afraid of what others may think, they may be afraid they won’t be believed," said McKeever. "As we’ve seen it’s sometimes people coming forward and many questions are asked of the victims and questions are not necessarily asked of the person who is doing the abusing."

The Kent County Domestic Violence Community Coordinated Response Team helped organize Monday's vigil. The team is comprised of local professional who work in various fields like domestic violence prevention, law, education and healthcare. They work to help better serve both victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Those who need someone to talk to can call the YWCA Helpline Number at 616-454-9922.