Candlelight vigils focus attention on domestic abuse

The Center for Family Justice, in cooperation with local community leaders and law enforcement, has scheduled a series of six vigils to commemorate the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

These vigils serve to honor those who have been impacted by domestic violence, raise awareness and inspire hope that the cycle of violence can be broken. They also serve to remind local residents that domestic violence can and does happen in every demographic and every community CFJ serves.

At each vigil, the names of the 12 victims of domestic violence homicides in the year from throughout Connecticut will be read in a solemn honor roll. Then, community leaders and Debra A. Greenwood, CFJ’s President and CEO, will join together to speak to their hope that the statistics on domestic violence can and will improve with continued dedication to serving and protecting victims and educating the public about awareness and prevention.

“While vigils are by their nature solemn, we also consider them hopeful celebrations,” said Greenwood. “We gather together to express our heartfelt belief that by joining together in solidarity we can make great strides in ending the abusive cycles that impact individuals and families in every community we serve.”

Greenwood noted the vigils also serve the purpose of allowing victims to know that at CFJ there is a safe place, close to their homes, for them to receive free and comprehensive services. These services include free counseling and emergency shelter. “We hope the atmosphere we create at our vigils will allow people living in abusive situations the strength and courage to come forward and seek help,” said Greenwood. “Often, we are approached at our vigils by people experiencing abuse who make that first important step towards getting the support they need.”

CFJ’s vigils are attended each year by community leaders, representatives of law enforcement, survivors of domestic violence and local residents dedicated to eradicating local communities of abuse. In many instances, local students participate in its vigils, demonstrating their hope and commitment to a future free of domestic violence.

This year, The Center has scheduled six vigils, all beginning at 6 p.m.:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 4: Stratford Town Hall, 2725 Main St., Stratford

  • Wednesday, Oct. 5: University of Bridgeport, Student Center

  • Thursday, Oct. 6:  Monroe Town Hall Green, Monroe

  • Thursday, Oct. 13: Town Gazebo, Sherman Green, Fairfield

  • Tuesday, Oct. 18: Nichols Improvement Association, Trumbull

These vigils are appropriate for all ages and are open to the public.

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