Vigil held to raise awareness about domestic violence
Posted August 6, 2008 10:02 p.m. EDT
Updated December 22, 2008 8:20 a.m. EST
Smithfield, N.C. — According to victim advocates, there have been more than 50 domestic violence homicides in North Carolina this year. In response, a group in Johnston County held a vigil Wednesday evening at Centenary United Methodist Church to draw attention to the problem.
"I realized it was never gonna stop," abuse victim Page Redmon told the crowd.
She says she still has trouble calling herself a victim. For eight years, she was convinced the abuse was her fault.
"I have a hard time not taking the blame,” she said.
Last year, Redmon said the beatings from her boyfriend became more violent. She said he became enraged one night when she came home late.
“He punched me, and I went down to the floor and then he dragged me across the floor. And he was hitting me and kicking me and stuff. And at the very end, he rolled me on my back and stomped me on my face,” Redmon recalled.
"You never know how far domestic violence is going to lead and how serious it can become,” Keri Christensen, with Harbor Inc. , said.
Christensen believes domestic abuse is out of control.
“You hear about the shootings and stabbings and it just seems like the violence is escalating and getting more violent,” she said.
Christensen is referring to two shootings in Johnston County last month. In one incident, police said a man shot his estranged girlfriend, and her boyfriend before he shot himself. In the other incident, a man shot his wife in the mouth and in leg, police said.
Those horrible accounts are in addition to recently slayings of military women, such has Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc, who was allegedly killed by her estranged husband.
So far this year, Harbor Inc. has helped more than 500 domestic violence victims move their cases through the court system. At this pace, they could see twice as many cases this year than last year.
Redmon, who was helped by Harbor Inc., now volunteers for the Johnston County organization.
"When I woke up the next morning alive, it was a wonderful feeling,” she said.
Redmon said she left her abusive relationship and her boyfriend was later charged with assault.
If you need help getting out of a similar situation, you can call Harbor Inc. toll-free at 877-934-0233.