This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DANVILLE, Ind. – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. On Monday, one shelter will raise awareness to honor those who have lost their lives to domestic abuse.

Sheltering Wings has helped over 16,000 Hoosiers recover from abusive relationships.

Tonight, it’s holding the annual Shine the Light Vigil. It’s meant to honor not only those who have lost their lives but those who are still fighting.

The shelter says domestic violence is more common than people think.

“I think what a lot of people don’t realize is one in four women and one in seven domestic violence affects men,” said Sheltering Wings’ Executive Director Cassie Mecklenburg. “When you think about those statistics, that just really points to the magnitude of the problem that we have. Everyone is affected in some form or fashion, and we know that it’s happening in almost every workplace, every school, every church and congregation.”

One in four women and one in seven men experience domestic violence during their lifetimes, according to the shelter.

Sheltering Wings wants victims to know they have a voice and they will always have a home at the shelter.

“It takes a lot for a person to reach out to an organization that they don’t know,” said Mecklenburg. “There’s something that oftentimes feels very private, very intimate when someone’s talking about domestic abuse, and so what we want to do is we want to give them a voice. And if we’re the person that they’re reaching out to, we’re humbled and privileged to be able to come alongside the families that we serve.”

But Mecklenburg knows not everyone feels comfortable reaching out to people they may not know, so they also want to help educate the community so they feel empowered to have a conversation about domestic violence if they need to.

“Sometimes you know neighbors or employers, pastors can only take a conversation so far in terms of what they feel comfortable with and that’s okay,” said Mecklenburg. “They don’t have to know all of the answers. But we always want them to know that we’re a resource that’s available for them.”

The shelter is also holding several other events throughout the month of October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

  • October 8 – Men in Action Breakfast
  • October 13 – Purple in the Pews
  • October 24 – Dine Out Against Domestic Violence

The Shine the Light Vigil will be Monday, September 30, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at Sheltering Wings. You will have to RSVP for entry.