October is Domestic Violence Month. The City of Goose Creek will be welcoming advocates, those who have overcome domestic violence and the public to a candlelight vigil at town hall.
The event will help spread public awareness about the issue of domestic violence locally. South Carolina Currently ranks number six in nation for women killed by men. Statewide, domestic violence was blamed for 41 deaths in 2018.
“Domestic violence is a cycle,” said Levolia Rhodes the victim’s advocate at the Goose Creek Police Department. “The victim will find themselves in a situation and will sometimes ask themselves, ‘How in the world did I let this happen?’ Because there are always red flags and warning sings.”
Domestic violence effects the entire family and scars remain long after the physical violence has stopped, especially for those most vulnerable.
“This is a cycle of violence that must be broken in our state,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson at the annual Silent Witness Event in Columbia. “All too often, not only is the life of the victim lost, but in ways, we lose the children who grow up in a home where domestic violence is taking place.”
The Silent Witness event in Columbia is in its 22nd year and was held on the steps of the Statehouse on Oct. 1. The event in Goose Creek is meant to have the same impact, just at the local level, because the victims and the abusers are the same, everywhere.
“Domestic violence is about power and control,” said Rhodes. “It’s all about that person and the personality; the power and control, they need to control somebody.”
Rhodes said the most dangerous time for victims is when they are about to leave the situation because the abuser realizes they may soon lose all the power.
“If she ever decides to leave there needs to be a plan, in case it should happen in the middle of the night, but there are places you can go,” said Rhodes.
The candlelight vigil in Goose Creek is open to the public and starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday Oct. 24 at the Pond behind the Municipal Center on Highway 52.