Domestic violence task force to host candlelight vigil for survivors

Published: Oct. 18, 2018 at 12:30 PM EDT
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On Thursday, candles will illuminate the sky in downtown Harrisonburg for the event "No Excuse for Abuse: A Candlelight Vigil."

The event is a part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and is aimed at raising awareness surrounding the dynamics of domestic violence and what can be done to combat the issues behind it.

According to the

, one in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The organizers of Thursday's event, First Step, say those numbers give their organization purpose.

"It's very important for us as a community to be aware that domestic violence exists in Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County," said Manuela Vazquez, Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for First Step. "Tonight is a chance for the community to stand in solidarity with survivors and hear those stories."

"No Excuse for Abuse" will begin with a speech by First Step's executive director covering the issues surrounding domestic violence. Survivors from the Valley will then share their testimonies, and then join in candlelight vigil, led by local clergy and and leadership.

The event is free and open to the public. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Court Square.

For more information about First Step and available services, click