BECKLEY, W.Va. — The Women’s Resource Center in Beckly recently held their 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil at the Raleigh Playhouse and Theatre.
Domestic violence is real and prevalent, affecting many homes and relationships daily. WRC held their Annual Candlelight Vigil to continue to raise awareness about domestic violence, and how it causes grief, pain, and some cases, death.
Melvennia Clark, the keynote speaker for the event, shared a gripping story of how she has been a victim of domestic violence. Clark addressed the audience with emotion, her hands trembling during the course of her speaking. Clark spoke of how her sister was killed as a result of domestic violence, and her mother passed away shortly thereafter when Clark’s sister’s body was discovered.
Jori Williams, a native of Portsmouth, and graduate student at Marshall University, said she is thankful to have participated in the Candlelight Vigil.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this event. Domestic violence is something that is typically kept as a secret in our society, when it should not be. It’s great that there are organizations such as the Women’s Resource Center in Beckley, West Virginia that promote addressing the issue and provide support for people experiencing any type of abuse,” Williams said.
The emcee for the event was Jessica Clark, and another musical performance was rendered singer, ‘Lady D.’
Patricia Bailey, WRC director, and Dee Sizemore, public relations/fundraising development coordinator also addressed the audience during the course of the event. A special video premiere entitled, #herblackeyeisOURblackeye, in which people featured in the video all were depicted with a black eye, a spoke out about the dangers and evils of domestic violence, and the need for it to be eradicated.
Raleigh County Incite Hope Award honorees were also recognized, consisting of Ballard and Doris Johnson, Beckley, W.Va. Police Chief Lonnie Christian, Deputy Bobby Stump, and local business, Tickety Boo Mercantile. Each were recognized for their efforts in the Beckley area towards ending domestic violence.
Mary Ann Miars Pieercy, executive director of the Southern Ohio Domestic Violence Task Force, said efforts such as the WRC Candlelight Vigil are wonderful, and must continue.
“I think that events such as this are extremely important,” Miars Peercy said. “Domestic violence cannot be that “dirty little secret. We have hosted candlelight vigils in the past, but this year we decided to do something a little different in conjunction with Shawnee State University. It is all about continuing to bring this to light, to bring awareness.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.