WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative held a candlelight vigil in Warren Wednesday evening to end domestic violence.
Between July 2015 and June 2016, domestic violence claimed 101 lives in Ohio. In Trumbull County, it claimed four.
About 60 people gathered for the vigil on Courthouse Square.
“We’re here tonight to break those chains, break those chains that domestic abuse has caused in the lives of so many,” said organizer Marcia Dinkins.
The area around the gazebo was crowded with people who have witnessed domestic violence firsthand.
On one side was the family of Bresha Meadows, the 15-year-old Warren girl charged with killing her father.
“I think my child should be go ahead, and be let free because she was only protecting me and the rest of her family, and herself,” said Bresha’s mother, Brandi Meadows.
On the other side was the family of Jessica Crowder, who was killed in June by her boyfriend, who then killed himself. Crowder’s mother, Peggy, and her daughter, Traylynn, could not hold back their emotions.
“When someone comes into the courts for domestic violence, they can’t just keep…giving them a slap on the wrist and sending them on their way when it’s multiple, multiple times. It needs to stop,” Peggy said. “We all don’t want anyone to ever have to go through what we’ve went through.”
Wednesday’s vigil marked the start of Domestic Violence Awareness month.
“It was successful because we had people come here, we had people recognize that there really is a problem in this community,” Dinkins said. “You could see the tears, you could see the pain, but you could also see the hope.”
Statistics from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network say that 94 percent of all cases are perpetrated by males, 25 percent involved children at the scene and 32 percent were either homicide-suicide or attempted homicide-suicide.