MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE --
More than 100 members of the community honored victims and survivors of domestic violence at a candlelight vigil hosted by the Onslow Women’s Center in downtown Jacksonville, Oct. 24.
Individuals shared their stories of hope and service members read the names and rang a bell in remembrance of the lives lost to domestic violence in the past year.
“Tonight focuses on primarily women who suffer in silence,” said Junie Christian, director for the OWC. “A lot of us see bruises and never ask, tonight is about getting the help that may be needed.”
Christian added the candlelight vigil also gives hope to the women and children currently at the center.
“We also have to thank the members of the community for their stance on domestic violence,” said Christian. “Tonight we are here to say no more, to put a stop to intimate partner violence.”
The keynote speaker and advocate for the OWC, Sgt. Amanda King, a field radio operator with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, spoke of her own survival story.
King suffered repeated physical and emotional abuse ending with the death of her son by the hands of her ex-husband.
“I was seven months pregnant when the first episode of physical abuse occurred,” said King. “Every time I tried to escape he came at me harder. I passed out and regained consciousness a few minutes later and at that point I saw my life and the life of my unborn son flash before my eyes. I believe to this day the only way out that night was to comply.”
King added that all survivors of domestic violence should speak out to help themselves and help others.
“I don’t want to read my story again,” said King. “I don’t want to see someone else’s name or someone else’s child on the wall of names. If one person gets out of the bad relationship they’re in, then that’s one life that’s been saved.”
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