Familes Remember Loved Ones Lost to Domestic Violence

6:52 PM, Oct 2, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- For the last 15 years, the state of South Carolina has remembered those who lost their lives to domestic violence with a ceremony at the State House.

The Silent Witnesses Memorial brings together families of victims and this year, as the state's ranking for domestic violence grows worse, they say the event is that much more important.

A bell rang for every person remembered at the event, such as Lilia Blandin.

"Beautiful, beautiful girl, she had an incredible personality. She was like a sunshine where ever she goes," said Jorge Vazquez of his older sister Lilia.

He says she died last December when her husband killed her at the bank where she worked, leaving her son and three daughters without a mother.

"It's just not fair, somebody with a bright future ahead and it's just not right for anybody to take nobody's life away, especially that way," he said.

Gloria Patricia Stephens held a cutout to remember her sister Barbara Perry, killed last November.

Stephens says her brother-in-law killed her sister, her husband, and left her for dead. She had to have her hand amputated, but says she's thankful she's alive to share her story and encourage others to get and offer help.

"Real love doesn't hurt, and so be there for that family member, and you can pick up on those signs," she said.

Attorney General Alan Wilson says last year's event remembered 44 men and women who lost their lives to domestic violence, this year's number has jumped to 52.

"There are a lot of people out there that are in abusive relationships and don't feel they have a way out, and if you're hear today, and you're watching this or hearing this I want you to know you're not alone," said Wilson.

That's why he and others want people to know they can reach out for help.That's why he and others want people to know they can reach out for help.

"People that are going through that please speak up and tell your loved ones what's going on, because if you don't tell them, something like this is gonna keep happening over and over and over to different people and it needs to be stopped," said Vazquez.

If you or someone you know needs help you can contact the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

SCCADVASA's Hotline: 1-800-260-9293

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

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