Remembering the Victims

October 23, 2003 -- Posted at 11:45pm

JONESBORO, AR - Candle flames have been extinguished, but the message of hope to end domestic violence still shines.

A small group gathered at the Craighead County Courthouse to remember victims of domestic violence Thursday night. They stood silent pinned with purple ribbons and listened to a story about a woman from the midwest who died in the 1980s from domestic violence. Her friends honored her life by wearing a ribbon in her favorite color: purple.

"Abuse is still hidden, and by its very nature we don't talk about it. We don't want to know about it," explained Camille Baldinger, an abuse survivor. Baldinger's first husband verbally and physically abused her. She got the courage to leave him 18 years ago shortly after their son was born.

Baldinger added," Physical abuse is the last stage of abuse generally, and it's the one you heal from the first. The emotional abuse, you carry those scars with you for a long time; sometimes even for a lifetime.

Counselors talked of similar situations and how they're working with batterers to stop domestic violence for good. Both men and women are victims.

"My son was involved in a situation of that nature, where he was battered, so it's sad," said Bruce Primm.

Workers at the Northeast Arkansas Council on Family Violence and at other organizations are available in Jonesboro to help anyone who wants to help put an to the abuse. Call 870-933-9449 for more information.

Baldinger said, "I would hope that women themselves would become more aware of the fact that they can get out of the situation, that there is hope for them and that they do have a very bright future, if they will just take a step to end and get out of that cycle of abuse."