Vigil will allow platform for domestic violence survivors to speak, connect

EVART — “Every scar you gave me has regenerated stronger skin. You can't touch me now. Every bone broken by you has healed.”

These are some of the moving words from poetry and other writings that will be read later this month at the Domestic Violence Awareness Month vigil at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 in Evart.

Women’s Information Services Inc. is organizing the event at the Evart United Methodist Church, which will feature survivors sharing their stories, poetry readings and a candle processional out to the courtyard area. The church is located at 619 N. Cherry St.

Teresa Mora, Osceola County domestic violence outreach coordinator for WISE, said the event is a great way to bring awareness to domestic violence and those affected by it.

“That’s the purpose of domestic violence awareness month because, like sexual assault, it operates under a cloud of privacy because there is a lot of shame people attach to it,” Mora said. “Hopefully, this will help bring it out of the shadows and help people understand the issue.”

Anybody from the community is invited to attend, show support or tell their story about experiences with domestic violence. Beverages and cookies will be provided.

Mora is particularly excited about the candlelight vigil portion of the night.

“We’re going to end with that and the participants will say, ‘I light this candle for and fill in the blank with someone,” Mora explained. “It can be for someone who’s passed away, someone who’s survived or maybe just for all the women and children who need to find peace. It’s just a statement of power and then they can take that light outside as a metaphor to take their march outside and know they are not alone.”

Organizers hope to continue the vigil in the years to come, potentially moving yearly to different locations within the three counties WISE serves.

Anyone interested in speaking or looking for more information can contact Mora at (231) 349-0197.