Domestic violence victims speak out at Owensboro vigil

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but for the victims and their families, it’s every single day. Erica Owen was a victim of domestic violence from the Tri-State. Her boyfriend just pleaded guilty to her murder and will soon learn his fate.

“It’s all sad, it’s a tragedy,” said Lisa Greer, Erica’s mom. “But we felt like we got the best thing we could do in the situation.”

A day later, Oasis – the Domestic Violence Program and shelter – held a vigil in Owensboro to honor all victims of domestic violence. Megan Jackson is a domestic violence survivor from Owensboro who says she almost didn’t come to the vigil out of fear.

“When Carissa asked me if I would speak here today my first thought was – what if he finds out?” said Jackson. “What has given me the courage to be here today is the realization that the silence of these issues leads to the loss of lives. I will no longer live in a silence that gives me shame and my abuser comfort.”

She said she regained the courage to help other victims feel like they aren’t alone.

“Please know, both in your heart and at the forefront of your mind, that what happened to you was not right. That you possess a great deal of worth. Don’t lose yourself in the cycle, and if you have, run blindly until you find yourself again,” added Jackson.

Daviess County Commissioner Charlie Castlen read a document at the vigil that stated one in three women and one in four men will experience domestic violence. He said according to HUD, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness in US families.

As the crowd lit their candles, they honored the seventeen victims who were murdered in Kentucky in 2021 alone. All of the victims were named — ranging from ages 74 all the way to just 12 years old.

Connie Taylor – 74
Victoria Cunningham – 62
Pamela Renee Anderson – 57
Donna G Lay – 57
Carrie McCord – 56
Melinda Goosby – 46
Jill Clayton – 40
Carmelita Lashaun Wright – 39
Don Ray Collett (M) – 38
Tiffany Kidwell – 32
Angela Carey – 30
Ashley Rountree – 29
Ericka Canada – 26
Hannah Fuller – 23
Nikkia Cope – 22
Esther Meza – 22
12-Year-Old Female Victim – 12

Representatives from Oasis said they encourage victims to talk to loved ones that they trust to find help out of their abusive situations.

“It is very hard,” said Andrea Robinson of Oasis. “It is a silent killer because people are afraid to be able to speak up and speak out.”

“We don’t need perfection. We need people to be real and tell their story,” said Suzanne Craig.

Hannah Fuller was a 23-year-old mother of two when she was killed in August. Police charged her husband with her murder. Her friends and family will be hosting a benefit car show on November 7 at the Windy Hollow Speedway. All money raised will go to her children and family.

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