In homes throughout the world, victims of domestic suffer through violent behavior from their spouses. Tragically, a lot of these situations end in murder.
The U Care Domestic Violence Vigil is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. at Graves Memorial Presbyterian, 201 Fayetteville St., Clinton. Its purpose is to remember the lives of victims in Sampson County and surrounding areas.
Leigh Ann Hardee, a victim’s advocate for U Care, said the public is encouraged to attend the free event, which is annual tradition for the organization and supporters.
“I think it’s very nice when the community can get together and recognize survivors of domestic violence who lives were lost too early,” Hardee said.
Held on the first day of October, the vigil coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). During the month, it’s observed to spread knowledge and gives organizations an opportunity to have events such as the upcoming event at the church. It came about through the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s “Day of Unity” in 1981, which later transformed into a week observance. The first DVAM was observed in 1987 and in 1989 the U.S. Congress passed a public law to designate October as DVAM.
U Care, Inc. is a nonprofit organization which advocates on the behalf of victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Some of the assistance includes 24-hour crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling and workshops.
“It’s one of our biggest resources and assets to the community,” Hardee said. “Most people in the community have a positive outlook on what we’re doing and all the local churches are supportive.”
U Care partners with other ministries working to help people in domestic violence situations. Hardee feels very fortunate to be a part of U Care, Inc.
“My eyes have been opened so much,” Hardee said. “You just don’t know what others are going through until you experience it or work in a profession such as this.”
For some clients, U Care is the only family they have.
According to national statistics, almost 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner in the United States. In one year, it equates to more than 10 million women and men.
“It is rewarding to be there in a person’s time of need,” Hardee said. “I think all of our staff feels that way.”
Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.