October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Monday night, The Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia held a candlelight vigil to honor victims and survivors of abuse.
Thousands of purple pinwheels line the outside of The Rescue Mission. They represent the millions of people abused by an intimate partner in the United States every year.
"I lost my daughter 5 years ago to domestic violence," says Melanie Wolfe. "She was 27 years old. Her boyfriend shot and killed her."
Wolfe says she never imagined her daughter, Jessica, would become a victim.
Monday night, dozens of people lit candles and prayed inside The Rescue Mission chapel to honor domestic violence victims like Jessica.
"It's very serious, and it's not just women and children -- men are abused every day as well," says Wolfe.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by their partner -- for women, it's 1 in every 3.
"It can be verbal, physical, sexual," says Yashica Lyons. She's the Women's Division Director at The Rescue Mission and says domestic violence is a growing problem. According to Lyons, last year there were over 60,000 cases reported in Georgia.
"And those are just the ones that are reported, so we can assume that it's much higher than that."
Monday night was a reminder that even in darkness, there is a light.
"We're here as a community to show them that, hey, there is someone who loves you, there's someone who wants to show you what love really is and we do that all through the love of Jesus Christ," says Lyons.
If you are or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and needs somewhere to go, you can call The Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia at 478-743-5445.
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