Tribute at Lake Loretta for domestic violence victims, survivors

Flowers thrown in Lake Loretta to remember the 60 Georgia victims who died in the past year as a result of domestic violence./ Jazmyne Hankerson

To begin its advocacy during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Liberty House hosted a special tribute on Tuesday night for victims and survivors.

This was the fifth year that the domestic abuse advocacy center released butterflies but the first year it threw flowers on the lake.

“[We want people to] understand that there are survivors. It’s not just about those who died,” said Liberty House Director Silke Deeley.

The ceremony included a proclamation read by Commissioner Roger Marietta on behalf of the city of Albany recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Deeley read names of the 60 domestic violence victims in Georgia between last Septmeber and this past August.

“When it’s a celebrity people take up arms but this is something that happens every day. It doesn’t occur once a year, or twice or year or to celebrities alone. It happens every day to every day people,” said Deeley.

The latest reports collected by the Violence Policy Center, which uses data from 2014, shows that Georgia ranks eighth among all states in its homicide rate of women murdered by men.

The 2013 data had Georgia ranked 13th.

VPC also reports that nationwide, nine out of 10 of the female victims knew their offenders.

“Domestic violence doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We all know someone,” said Deeley. “They are human beings attached to issues of domestic violence we’re not talking about inanimate objects.”

Deeley said awareness has to continue to be spread in order for society to take this issue more seriously and to begin to see it not be tolerated in our communities.

She also advises to lend a helping hand if you know someone who may be a victim.

“Listen [to them], don’t judge [them], don’t make assumptions about what you would do in that situation because we don’t walk in those shoes.”

Liberty House will also host a Lunch and Learn at Albany State University on Oct. 11, a self-defense awareness event on Oct. 13, a benefit 5K walk/run on Oct. 22, a dating violence event at ASU on Oct. 27 and a gala on Nov. 12.

The Liberty House’s 24-hour crisis line is (229) 439-7065.

For any other questions about Liberty House, call the business number at (229) 439-7094.

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