LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. City and county leaders are hard at work highlighting the ways it can impact the community.
Lexington’s message to the public is to rise up. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office held the 7th annual tribute to survivors of domestic violence. Seven years ago, Lexington had three domestic violence-related homicides in October, leading to a call to action. Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt was a speaker at the event.
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“We said, ‘We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to raise the awareness.’ So we started this vigil, and we’ve been doing it every year. We’re going to keep doing it until there is no more domestic violence in Lexington,” Witt said.
The emotional night featured testimonies from those who have been affected and a panel of community organizations that want to play a role in changing things for the better. Diane Fleet is the associate director for GreenHouse17.
“It’s really good just to sort of connect, and then more importantly, it gives space for survivors to speak their truth, to be able to talk, and to know that the community is here for them,” Fleet said.
The vigil featured powerful music and a candle lighting ceremony, but the main message goes far beyond all that. It’s a reminder that the fight isn’t over. Aubrey Girouard is an attorney at The Nest.
“Domestic violence is a community issue that we all need to come together on and try to prevent and hold aggressors accountable, so to see all of these survivors here, all of these community partners here are working together. It’s amazing. It’s really great to see,” Girouard said.
It’s also a reminder that there’s always help around every corner.
“If somebody tells you that they’re being abused, believe them, and then bring them where the resources are,” Witt said.