CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – People are standing up against domestic violence. During the month of October different domestic violence awareness rallies and community gatherings have been held to help educate the community.
Ebony’s Hope is a mission to help bring an end to silencing violence. The fourth annual Ebony’s Hope Domestic Violence Awareness rally was on Saturday afternoon as a way to start the conversation and help get South Carolina out of the top states for domestic violence. Gwendolyn Reed is the Founder of Ebony’s Hope in honor of her sister Ebony who died in 2013 as a result of domestic violence.
The rally was filled with various local organizations, victims services, gun violence prevention and local law enforcement. Ebony’s Hope has hosted events across the state all month long during domestic violence awareness month.
Reed also lost her father to gun violence. She said ten days prior to her sister’s murder she didn’t know about the resources available in Horry and Georgetown Counties to help protect her sister, so each event education is key to her. “We so often tell our kids what happens in this house, stays in this house. Those children and that abuse spirals out to bullying and other types of violence or the next serial killer, so I believe in order to correct anything you need start at the children,” said Reed.
Millie Hayden was one of the Victim’s Advocates at the event said, “Police are not going to arrest us out of this problem and the prosecutor’s office is not going to prosecute us out of this problem. It’s going to take the whole community that we have here.” Hayden supports the events Ebony’s Hope holds and wants to be a voice for others.
“I find my passion because I grew up in a room where there was domestic violence going on. I myself am a survivor of sexual assault as well. When children grow up seeing mom and dad fight seeing dad viciously beat mom, seeing dad even verbally assaulting mom. They learn to accept that and learn to accept it and think that’s normal. So that’s the one thing we are here to get out to the community and kids especially,” said Hayden.
The rally is also aimed at showing people help is out there. People signed their name on a board pledging if they see or hear domestic violence happening they will not be silent, because these cases can lead to much more crime. Jackie Shelley is one of the state leaders for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She said, “Statistics are staggering I mean you realize that 93 Americans are shot and killed every day and you realize that here in South Carolina guns play a huge role in domestic violence.”
The next Ebony’s Hope event in honor of domestic violence victims will be Saturday December 9th. It’s called Light up the night and will be held on 3rd avenue in Conway at the old county courthouse.
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