Shrewsbury groups honor domestic violence victims
By Joan Goodchild, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Between 2003 and 2009, there were 192 domestic-violence-related homicides in the state of Massachusetts. This year alone, 15 women, children and men have died as a result of domestic violence in the state.
Sobering statistics, and one of several reasons why a group of advocates against domestic violence gathered Oct. 24 on Shrewsbury’s town common. The group gathered in a vigil to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence and to raise awareness for issues of domestic violence in local communities. The event was sponsored by Against Domestic Violence in Shrewsbury Education Project (ADVISE) and Support for South Asian Women (Saheli).
Julie Ingersoll of ADVISE began the ceremony.
“Tonight we gather to give a voice to victims and survivors of domestic violence,” she said.
A “moment of witness” candle lighting honored all 15 of those killed as a result of domestic-violence homicide this year. Janet Trippi of ADVISE read each victim’s name, and a chime was rung and then a lighted candle placed on a table. Together, all of the lights served as a reminder that many lives have been lost to domestic violence.
Other portions of the ceremony included readings for the entire group and response readings lead by local clergy. Approximately 30 people took part in the event, which ended with the extinguishing of the candles.
“As we extinguish these candles, may we take this flame into our hearts and let it inspire is to use our powers to heal and not to harm,” Ingersoll said. “To help and not to hinder, to bless and to serve each other.”
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