FVPC to host candlelight vigil for domestic violence victims


XENIA — Greene County’s Family Violence Prevention Center will hold its third annual candlelight vigil to raise awareness of domestic violence.

The vigil will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 at The Greene in Beavercreek.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month and according to the FVPC, domestic violence cases are on the rise in Greene County. There is an uptick in violent attacks. As of July 21, Greene County’s Domestic Relations Court handled 139 domestic violence cases — up from 117 last year. Across Ohio from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, at least 131 people died in domestic violence incidents, according to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

The FVPC said this problem happens each and every day to families and children of all ages, races, and incomes.

“Domestic violence is all about an imbalance of power and control,” said Debbie Matheson, FVPC executive director. “Perpetrators make life so unbearable that victims say, ‘Fine, we’re going to be complacent and do whatever you want to do,’ until they realize, ‘If I don’t do something different, I will be seriously injured or die, or my children will be seriously injured or die.’ A lot of our work is making sure victims know there is a way out.”

Community leaders and residents of Greene County will light a candle and “Pause for Peace,” during the vigil. The Clothesline Project, a display of story-telling T-shirts created by service recipients of the center, will be on display. FVPC leadership will address the audience and a volunteer and special friend of FVPC will deliver a musical presentation.

In addition to the vigil, FVPC’s fall fundraiser, “Purses and Pastries” is set for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Sunset Ridge Lavender Farm, 6360 Fowler Road, Enon. The devastating effects of financial abuse is the event’s focus. A purse serves as a symbol of financial freedom. Tickets are available at www.violencefreefutures.org.

The mission of the Family Violence Prevention Center of Greene County is to reduce family and relationship violence and its impact in Greene County through prevention, intervention, safe-housing and collaborative community programs.

FVPC has a comprehensive range of services to help protect victims and provide the support services necessary to rebuild their lives. Services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, safe housing, children and youth services, community advocacy, counseling, education, and training.

Staff report

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