Family Violence Prevention Center holds candlelight vigil tonight

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Speaking out against domestic violence, the 22nd Annual Candlelight Vigil, put on by the Family Violence Prevention, Inc. in Batesville, took place Thursday night.  A candle was lit to remember those lost. One woman shared her story in hopes of empowering others to get out.

"It was a beautiful day like today. He answered (the phone). I said I want to talk to my sister, and he said you can't talk to her. I said why not, and he said because I killed her. Those words are sketched in my brain forever," said Karon McGill, who lost her sister to domestic violence. It's something she says she can never get over.

"I try to remember the good things. I try not to remember how it happen, or why it happened. If I can help somebody else because it happened, I will," said McGill.

She says for years she kept silent. "I hide the violence," said McGill. But coming to the candlelight vigils and talking to other women, she discovered she wasn't alone.

"The first time I came, I couldn't go in. I drove up. I looked around, and I went home. And the next time, I came in and listened," she said.

Now, McGill is hoping others will listen to her story. "This lady came up and I turned around and she just hugged me. She said because of you, I'm getting out tonight," said McGill.

At the vigil, 21 silhouettes lined the walls of the auditorium at UACCB with a visual picture of the number of victims lost in the state this year alone. T-shirts hung across several clotheslines symbolized the number of victims in Arkansas killed over domestic violence over the past ten years. Each used pictures and words to tell their stories. McGill hopes her effort will help keep history from repeating itself.

"I don't want their names to be on one of those shirts. I want them to have enough courage to walk out and say I've had enough. I'm done. I want them to speak out and break that silence. It's the only way they are going to have a bright morning and a good night sleep," said McGill.

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