Small Town News

Local Government

Aberdeen holds candlelight vigil

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

- Advertisement -

Aberdeen residents joined the Bingham Crisis Center in the LDS gymnasium to show support for victims of domestic violence Thursday, Oct. 29. The candlelight vigil is meant to increase public awareness of domestic violence and for people to realize that it is important to report the violence, whether as a victim or as a witness.

Mayor Morgan Anderson read a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Month. Aberdeen Police Chief Ray Dolling said that domestic violence is something that isn't reported as much or as soon as it should be. In domestic violence the female is the victim in about 85 percent of the cases. That leaves 15 percent of the time that the male is the victim.

The mission of the Bingham Crisis Center is to work within the communities to reduce domestic and sexual abuse and promote healthy non-violent relationships by providing emergency services, individual and group treatment, education and support services to survivors and their families.

They provide services to those affected by interpersonal violence, including sexual assault and domestic violence. Victims of abuse and trauma have access to services including Victim Advocacy, Safety Planning, Case Management, Court Advocacy, Counseling, Shelter, Housing Options, Parenting Classes, Support Group, 24 Hours Crisis Line both English and Spanish, Referrals to Legal Aid and Supervised Visitations. All services are available at no cost to the victims.

A story was shared of someone the Bingham Crisis center was able to help in 2012. This woman told, in a written letter, of her experiences with abuse. She married a man who kept her from visiting with her family and friends. They were homeless most of the time but she couldn't even think of getting out of the situation for 23 years. She had lost a child through the abuse and feared for her life and the lives of her other children. Finally, when her youngest child turned 18 they made their break from abuse. She was in a public place where she knew there were officers that would help her and she left her abusive husband.

Dixie Chapman, director of the crisis center said that daily in 2014 in the state of Idaho more than 514 victims of domestic violence and their children seek safety and services from community based domestic violence programs. During 2014, the Bingham Crisis Center staff provided in excess of 1,946 services to the survivors they served. Also, in 2014, the Idaho State Police reported 5,665 incidents of violence between spouses, ex-spouses and those in dating relationships. These are the reported incidents only. Many incidents go unreported.

Candles were passed around to those in attendance and the crowd moved outside. Everyone was asked to consider the loved ones in their lives affected by domestic violence and to think of what they could do to help them through their difficult times.

Balloons were released in memory of domestic violence victims. They were in the colors of black, dark purple, white and lilac. The ten black balloons represented the ten lives taken during 2014 in Idaho due to domestic violence. The 15 dark purple balloons represented the 15 women who sought safety in the Bingham Crisis Center shelters during 2014. The 17 white balloons represented the 17 children who sought refuge with a parent in the Bingham Crisis Center shelters during 2014. The one lilac balloon represented the one man who sought safety in the Bingham Crisis Center shelters during 2014.

This candlelight vigil is an annual event in Aberdeen.

Copyright 2015 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

More from The Aberdeen Times