Candlelight Vigil To Honor Survivors Of Domestic Violence And Abuse

STAUNTON, Va. -- Marsha Smith is a survivor of sexual abuse and now she tries to help others who've been through the same experience.

"I was abused from the age of probably about 10 or 11 to about 15," she says.

She and others are attending a candlelight vigil that will honor victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

She will share her story with others who are, or may know someone who survived.

"There wasn't a lot of support for the victims then, and it ended in the trial being dismissed," Smith says.

Amy McManaway organized this vigil and she's part of the Staunton-Augusta Domestic Violence Program.

She says it's important for people here to support victims because sometimes the legal system doesn't.

"There are a lot of systems set up to support the defendant and not a whole lot to support the victim, so this is just a way and a time once a year for us to show our support and us as a community to show our support for victims," McManaway says.

Either way, Smith hopes her voice along with others here will help every survivor cope with their past.

"I'd like to be a voice for survivors, I'd like them to understand what it means to be a survivor," Smith says. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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