By Kitsey Burns Harrison
A domestic violence awareness event was held on Oct. 27 at the Yadkin County Courthouse. The event was held to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence and shine a light on the problem of domestic violence in the area. The event, which culminated in a candlelight vigil, was presented by the YVEDDI Yadkin County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program.
Following an opening pray from Dr. Robin Dixon, Community Educator Dustin Kem welcomed attendees and gave a few statistics on domestic violence in Yadkin County.
“Last year from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, 117 domestic violence cases were filed with this court for protective orders,” Kem said. “Our program also assisted 505 people and answered 1,699 crisis calls. Domestic violence is not a problem that is absent in this community. It lurks in the shadows of households throughout this nation. It affects women, children and men. Domestic violence is not constrained by gender or race. It not only affects the victims, but all those around the victim. The purpose of our program and programs like ours, is to be there and to do all that we can do to start the process of rebuilding a person’s life. We offer access to shelters, provide counseling. We help guide them through the complex legal system. We aid them in finding jobs and if necessary going back to school. We are there for support as well as starting the process of rebuilding a life that has now been shattered.”
Kem went on to say that the entire community should be involved in helping victims of domestic violence in their recovery.
“It’s going to take more than just programs like ours and events like these. Rebuilding one’s life takes the support and strength from those who are closest to the person and as a community we can never forget the individuals who help make us what we are as a whole,” Kem said.
Chief District Court Judge David Byrd and Sheriff Ricky Oliver both spoke at the event as well as domestic violence survivor Sarah Tweed.
For more information on the YVEDDI Domestic Violence program and the services they provide, call 336-849-4070. The 24-hour crisis line number is 336-679-2072.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.