As we continue to recognize domestic violence awareness month this October, the Domestic Violence Network took time to remember the homicide victims of domestic violence in its annual commemoration ceremony.
After living in a domestic violence relationship for 10 years advocate and survivor Danyette Smith is silent no more. She joined the DVN to honor the lights that were put out at the hands of their abuser.
"But that uneasy feeling in my stomach of wow, that could've been me," Danyette said.
Danyette read the names of each victim from 2017—she put a name with a face by searching for them on Facebook to make a deeper connection. A family member or a complete stranger lit a candle in their honor. Including the city's of community violence reduction leader who was here to present a proclamation on behalf of the city, but this ceremony held a deeper meaning for Shonna Majors.
"I've also lost two really good girlfriends recently one just last month, one a few years ago to domestic violence so every chance I get to remember them and pay respect to the struggle they had and to the bravery and strength of my mom I do it every chance I get," Majors said.
From memories of childhood to youth advocates like Imani Graham who want to make sure her peers don't have to live through same situations.
"If it's not going to be taught at home they should have a outlet outside of home to talk about that and hearing it from a peer could persuade our youth to want to get it out," Graham said.
But for those living through it right now Danyette wants them to know new life is possible.
"And I currently am a thriver because when I see my abuser I don't see what I went through I see him for who he is. You are able to get out and do that exact same thing."
Last year in Indiana at least 27 people lost their lives due to domestic violence. 11 in central Indiana 8 in Marion county.