Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – A young woman killed earlier this year in an act of domestic violence set the tone for the 17th annual Silent Victims March on Monday in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Though never mentioned by name, the memory of Alicia M. Pentecost-Salyers was invoked several times by supporters on the steps of the Pickaway County Courthouse who gathered in an effort to raise awareness and offer help to victims of abusive relationships.
Judy Wolford, Pickaway County Prosecutor, told the audience that such cases had spiked in the past year, with her office seeing about 300 more assault cases and 200 more domestic violence cases recently than in previous years.
Often considered a “silent” crime, Wolford urged onlookers to break the silence and notify authorities in situations where domestic violence affected themselves, friends or loved ones.
Emily Otterbacher, victims’ advocate, shared a survivor’s statement at the morning event, followed by Sabrina Briggs, who spoke for herself as a current resident of the Haven House women’s shelter and a recovering survivor of abuse.
Other speakers included Lisa Johnson, director of Haven House of Pickaway County, and Dr. Doyne Wiggins, local pastor and chaplain for the Circleville Police Department.
Mayor Don McIlroy and county commissioners Brian Stewart and Harold Henson also spoke at the event and offered proclamations from the city and county respectively declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Special music for the event was provided by Rachel Dye.
The event ended with the launch of purple balloons in honor of the victims of domestic violence.
For more information on domestic violence and help that is available locally, visit the Haven House website at www.havenhouse1180.com.
The following is raw video of the balloon launch from Monday’s event.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal