The 1st Annual Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil will be held tonight, Thursday, at 6:30 pm at the O.J. Smith building on Troupe Street.
District Attorney Joe Mulholland's Victim Advocate Wendy Knight talked with us about the services they offer, and some of the obstacles they face in helping victims of domestic violence.
She stated they are on call 24 hours a day to respond to domestic violence incidents.
"A victim, 9 times out of 10, will not leave the first time, usually it takes 7-10 times. Sometimes they don't leave at all." She says it is important to have a record of domestic violence reports that the victim may need in the future.
If the victim ever needs a protection order, there will be a record of all past domestic incidents.
Victims Comp is a service that will actually provide financial assistance to help the victim get away from the abuse.
Ms Knight says that the domestic "offender is usually the breadwinner and they are scared to leave because they have emotionally been told that they're nothing without them." She says the victim has it in their mind that they "have to have them" (their spouse).
Ms Knight says victims tell her that the emotional abuse is far worse than the physical abuse. They are made to feel that they deserve it.
She says that many times the abuser will tell the victim that if they ever call the police that they will kill them. She says that it is important for law enforcement to let victims know there is help available.
"We will help them in any way possible to get them out of the situation." Ms Knight stated. She went on to say that she has personally taken a victim to the Halcyon Home in Thomasville at 2 am.
Indicative of the need for information by domestic violence victims, after the banner on Shotwell Street went up with an 800 number, 10 calls were received from Decatur County.
"We can't help if we don't know." Wendy Knight stated.