“Compassion, courage, and hope” was the message at a vigil going out to domestic violence survivors and victims.

LACASA held their 21st annual Candlelight Vigil on the lawn of the historic Howell Courthouse, Tuesday evening. More than 50 people gathered in support of loved ones and community members who have gone through trying times and even lost their lives. A memorial tribute was setup with the stories of 6 Livingston County women who suffered, with candles lit in bags carrying messages like “truth,” “strength,” and “love.” LACASA President and CEO Bobette Schrandt commented on the large numbers of women who suffer from domestic violence but are too afraid to report the crime. She said that so much of it goes unreported and happens behind closed doors. Schrandt said this vigil helps bring it out into the open, and that when we can discuss it as a community, that’s when change can happen. The Howell a Cappella Choir performed before and during the event and a moment of silence was observed for victims in Las Vegas.

Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt spoke to the crowd about shining a light on abuse and ending it. LACASA Community Relations Director Nicole Matthews-Creech shared the written words of a woman she’s known for 13 years who suffered and still searches for the strength to speak about it. Local Pastor Scott Phillips sang and played a hymn about human rights before a prayer was spoken for those in need.

The night concluded with community members, local leaders, and the choir lighting candles in remembrance and support. This event was part of LACASA’s Shine the Light campaign which takes place all October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. More information on that and other planned events can be found through the link below. (MK)