Jacksonville candlelight vigil held to raise awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness Month


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and many organizations in Eastern North Carolina are holding events to raise awareness.

Thursday night, the Onslow Women’s Center held a candlelight vigil at Riverwalk Park in Jacksonville to honor those who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. Last year, 59 people in North Carolina lost their lives to domestic violence.

“We’re just here to make sure the people who lost their lives because of this are honored in a respectful way,” said Melissa Radomicki, associate director of the Onslow Women’s Center.

Radomicki said events like the one held Thursday are needed to raise awareness.

“We know domestic violence happens, but it’s not something people want to talk about, it’s not something people want to know happens, but it does,” she said.

Community members who spoke at Thursday’s event want people to know it does happen right here in ENC.

“Having been a police officer for over 30 years, I’ve seen and experienced the devastation domestic violence can cause,” Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips said.

“Benita Jones, Connie Whitson, Jordan Scaggs, Suan Lou. Those are just a few of the names who have been murdered,” District Attorney Ernie Lee said. “I could add many more names that I personally have prosecuted along with these individuals. These are just a few of the cases of domestic violence here in Onslow County.”

Radomicki said she is thankful for the support from the community.

“Having as many community members we can at events like this is very impactful because it shows the solidarity Onslow County has for survivors,” Radomicki said.

As the Onslow Women’s Center tells the people they serve, love shouldn’t hurt and there are resources to help those who need it.

“If you have even any inkling of a suspicion of ‘hey I’m not being treated right’ or ‘I feel really bad in this relationship,’ reach out to friends, family, our crisis line and we can help you with whatever it is,” Radomicki said.

The Onslow Women’s Center offers a hotline that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call if you are in danger of domestic violence. The number is (910) 347-4000.

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