Area churches to host vigil to memorialize victims of domestic abuse, honor survivors

St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, along with other local churches and organizations, will host a solemn and hope-filled vigil in memory of individuals from our area who have lost their lives to domestic abuse Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. The one-hour service, titled Healing Domestic Abuse: Intercession and Hope, is open to the entire community, including survivors who have extricated themselves from abusive situations, those currently in abusive relationships and those whose lives have been touched by the abuse of someone they know.

The vigil will include quiet times of meditation, music, scripture, stories from survivors, and a message of hope for everyone who has experienced the physical and emotional pain of domestic abuse. There will be time after the vigil for light refreshments, fellowship and support. Resource materials will be available for those looking for guidance in helping themselves or others.

Between Jan. 1 and June 6, 2013, seven women in the Twin Cities area have been murdered this year by husbands or boyfriends. The message vigil organizers want to convey is that domestic abuse is not a private issue; it is a public issue that affects our entire community. People cannot expect law enforcement alone to end domestic abuse. Ending violence in the home — the place where we should feel the most safe and secure — is the responsibility of everyone. To stop domestic abuse, people need to start talking about it, bring it into the light of day and proclaim zero tolerance for abuse of women, children and men.

This evening will be one of remembering and grieving for some, but the message of hope, unity and support will be for everyone attending.

Join in and bring others to share in this moving tribute to victims, be inspired by the stories of survivors, and leave ready to help break the silence surrounding domestic abuse.

For more information, call Jane at 763-494-5528, Susan at 763-559-5873, or St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church at 763-425-6505. The church is located at 7180 Hemlock Lane North in Maple Grove, on the southeast corner of the intersection of I-694 and Hemlock Lane.