Home News Annual march shines light on domestic violence

Annual march shines light on domestic violence


Trish Bennett, Editor

Photos by Trish Bennett

CIRCLEVILLE – A cloud of purple balloons drifted through the city Monday morning to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

Lisa Johnson, director of Haven House of Pickaway County, said the Silent Victims March, now in its 18th year, is held annually to recognize those who have survived domestic violence and to honor those who have lost their lives to it.

The march began Monday at Community United Methodist Church and ended at the steps of the Pickaway County Courthouse, where guests spoke about the local impact of domestic violence prior to a balloon launch.

“What we really want to do is make people realize there is domestic violence in Pickaway County,” Johnson said. “It’s a problem everywhere, and people lose their lives because of domestic violence. Not every case is going to be that way, but there are cases that are fatal, and we want people to know there are services available that can help them.”

This year’s event focused on one such fatal case – the death of 19-year-old Alicia Pentecost-Salyers at the hands of her former boyfriend, 21-year-old Trevor Teets, on Feb. 1, 2015.

Teets is now serving 15 years to life in prison after being convicted earlier this year of shooting Salyers to death outside the apartment they once shared on Caroline Court in Circleville.

With Salyers’ mother in attendance, Johnson read a victim statement from both of her parents at Monday’s event. Other guest speakers included Brian Stewart and Harold Henson, Pickaway County Commissioners, Sheriff Robert Radcliff, Dr. Doyne Wiggins and Teresa Cramer on behalf of Mayor Don McIlroy.

Music was provided by the Circleville High School choir under the direction of Cynthia Braswell.

Johnson said there are many reasons people stay in an abusive relationship that range from finances to embarrassment and everything in between. The most important thing, she said, is not to judge the victim, for they are just that – the victim of a crime.

“There are many reasons they stay, and many times it’s for the kids,” Johnson said. “Many women don’t leave until one of their children has been put through something, until it affects their children in a physical way.”

But Johnson said even if a child hasn’t physically witnessed or experienced the abuse, living in that kind of environment always takes its toll.

“We’re all products of where we come from,” she said. “If violence is natural in our home, then we grow up believing it’s normal or natural to have violence in the home, and it’s not.”

Johnson said she hopes heightened awareness of the problem can bring help for those who are suffering.

Haven House can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 740-477-9113. Visit www.havenhouse1180.com for more information.

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal