On Friday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m. local community members and domestic violence service providers hold a vigil against domestic violence at Terry Schrunk Plaza, SW 3rd Avenue and SW Madison Streets in Portland.
The event commemorates the victims, survivors and loved ones of the seven domestic violence murder-suicides that have taken place around Oregon since the beginning of November.
Local domestic violence agencies will provide a space for family members of the recent murder victims and concerned community members to honor the lost lives and speak out about the epidemic levels of domestic violence in the Oregon area.
Studies show that leaving an abusive situation can be the most dangerous time for a survivor of domestic violence.
Domestic violence service providers says they will use this vigil and media presence to encourage and empower people to "REACH OUT."
- REACH OUT if you are in an abusive situation. Talk to a friend, coworkers, church leader or counselor about the abuse you are experiencing. Call the Crisis Line at 503-235-5333/888-235-5333 to speak with an advocate and receive instant safety planning, emergency housing and other crucial resources and support.
- REACH OUT if you know someone who is experiencing domestic violence. Call the Crisis Line to get information about how you can support the person while empowering them to make decisions about their safety.
- REACH OUT if you are thinking about hurting yourself or someone else. Reach out to emergency resources before you hurt yourself or someone else.
"Survivors of domestic violence attempt to leave an average of seven times before they are able to get out of an abusive situation for good, most often because the threat of lethal violence increases significantly during these attempts. It is important that a dialogue continues in both our communities and in the media to ensure that everyone knows who to call or talk to when they are thinking about leaving a domestic violence situation." says Linda Miles, development director at the Portland Women's Crisis Line.
The Portland Women's Crisis Line (PWCL) believes everyone deserves a life free of domestic and sexual violence. Since 1972, PWCL has served as the entry point for survivors accessing information and resources related to domestic and sexual violence in Portland and the surrounding areas. The 24-hour domestic and sexual violence crisis line can be reached locally at 503-235-5333 or toll-free at 1-888-235-5333.