MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — The Marquette Women’s Center held a candlelight vigil to remember the survivors and also those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and sexual assault.
A dozen individuals gathered together at the Marquette Commons to participate in the candlelight vigil.
Kristin Olsen, Domestic Violence Program Coordinator, Marquette Women’s Center said, “We always like to have this kind of at the end of the month. It’s hard for those, especially the ones that we’ve lost, it’s certainly never easy to come forward, but it’s also something that’s close to the heart.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than ten million men and women are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. I asked Kristin if there is a high abuse rate in Marquette County.
“Sadly there is and unfortunately we’ve seen an increase over the last couple of years, I don’t even want to say last five years and that is kind of attributed to our homelessness rate, there’s a lot of factors that go into that, so we have to take all those factors into consideration when we are dealing with just domestic violence, as well as sexual assault,” said Olsen.
It is difficult to come forward about abuse, but Kristin wants to assure those that the Women’s Center will always be there for those victims when they are ready to receive help.
“Everybody is always at a different point of their life. Some people get it at the first try, some people it might take fifty tries. We don’t judge, we are always there, everybody’s welcome at whatever point they’re at in their life with it, our doors are always open. Whenever you feel you are ready to come, we’ll welcome you with open arms.”
The Women’s Center, Inc. supports victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Alger and Marquette Counties through programs that Protect, Educate, Advocate, Counsel and Empower! (PEACE).
For more information on the Marquette Women’s Center, click here.
“REMEMBER MY NAME” by Kimberly A. Collins: Poem to memorialize victims that have lost their lives to the horrific epidemic of domestic violence.
When you remember my walk upon this earth
Look not into my steps with pity.
When you taste the tears of my journey
Notice how they fill my footprints
Not my spirit
For that remains with me.
My story must be told
Must remain in conscious memory
So my daughters won’t cry my tears
Or follow my tortured legacy.
Lovin’ is a tricky thing
If it doesn’t come from a healthy place,
If Lovin’ Doesn’t FIRST practice on self it will act like a stray bullet not caring what it hits
You may say:
Maybe I should’ve loved him a little less
Maybe I should’ve loved me a little more,
Maybe I should’ve not believed he’d never hit me again.
All those maybes will not bring me back– not right his wrong.
My life was not his to take.
As your eyes glance my name
Understand once I breathed
just like you.
I wish for all who glance my name
To know love turned fear – kept me there
Loved twisted to fear,
Kept me in a chokehold
Cut off my air
Blurred my vision I couldn’t see how to break free.
I shoulda told my family
I shoulda told my friends
I shoulda got that CPO
Before the police let him go
But all those shoulda’s can’t bring me back when I lied so well
To cover the shame
To hide the signs.
If my death had to show what love isn’t
If my death had to show that love shouldn’t hurt
If my death had to make sure another woman told a friend instead of holding it in
If my death reminds you how beautiful, how worthy you really are
If my death reminds you to honor all you are daily
Then remember my name
Shout it from the center of your soul
Wake me in my grave
Let ME know
My LIVING was not in vain.