The Victim Service Coordinator (under the Victims of Crime Act, Grant 12-VA-010), Randolph County Prosecutor's Office, Women's Aid in Crisis (WAIC), Randolph County Family Resource Network (RCFRN), Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), the GFWC Women's Club, Youth Health Service and the many other advocacy groups in Randolph County wish to thank everyone who attended and all those who spoke at the annual Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Domestic Violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The weather was warm and the skies were bright blue for this important annual community event, and the sight of 38 purple balloons being released into the air (one for each victim of domestic violence in West Virginia who did not survive this past year) was incredibly moving. We were extremely pleased by the large group of attendees, and we were especially gratified by the presence of Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong, Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker, County Commissioner Mike Taylor, Magistrates Ben Shepler, Mike Riggleman and Rob Elbon, WAIC executive director Marcia Drake and Chief Deputy Mark Brady. We offer our sincere thanks to these busy public servants who took the time to attend the vigil and to remember victims of domestic violence and to celebrate survivors.
Our special thanks go to Gina Hamilton, a former victim of domestic battery, who struggled to overcome her trauma and reared three children as a working single mother while attending school. Gina is now a correctional counselor at Huttonsville. Gina's story of personal strength and perseverance is a true inspiration and we sincerely thank her for sharing it with us.
We would also like to express our appreciation to Pizza Hut, Papa John's and Domino's for providing pizza for the vigil attendees. Thanks also to the Davis Memorial Hospital gift shop for providing helium for the balloons we released as part of our tradition of honoring the memory of victims of domestic violence.
It is our hope that, with continued community participation and involvement in events such as the Candlelight Vigil, citizens of Randolph County will become more aware of the tragedy of domestic violence and its lasting effect on families and communities. By working together for a common goal, we can all help to break the vicious cycle of domestic violence.
Victim Service Coordinator
Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney's Office