As Domestic Violence Awareness Month nears, Christian League for Battered Women's staff and supporters are busy promoting a pair of upcoming events. The nonprofit's first Candlelight Vigil will be presented Oct. 2, followed by the 22nd annual Golf Tournament Oct. 6.
"Each year, Tranquility House looks for ways to bring awareness to October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month," said Teresa Millsaps, executive director of Christian League for Battered Women, which operates the Tranquility House Domestic Violence Center. “Our annual Golf Tournament is a traditional way of reminding the community that we need their support to provide shelter, legal services and advocacy to victims.
"The Candlelight Vigil is our way of spending a moment to reflect on how devastating domestic violence is and how one in every four women and one in every 10 men will experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime. Every nine seconds a woman in the United States is being assaulted or beaten. There are ways to help and Tranquility House wants to bring as much awareness as we can to these ways."
Now in its third location, Christian League for Battered Women was established in 1985. The nonprofit's Tranquility House Domestic Violence Center provides a place for women — and their children — to temporarily stay and work toward future goals, like securing housing, education or a job, if needed.
While residing at the shelter, women have access to a support group, legal advocacy and community resources. Even though men, who are victims of domestic violence, are unable to reside at Tranquility House, they are provided with services and other shelter options.
"The vigil is a way to raise awareness, to remember those who have died, to support those who still suffer and to celebrate those who survive," Millsaps said. "There will be silhouettes with information about the person it represents and white flags will be present with each name that will be read on it as a display to the numbers of victims killed.
"The vigil is for anyone who would like to join us. We will have speakers from our community speak about domestic violence and Laura Allgood will speak as a survivor. The names of victims who lost their lives due to domestic violence during the last year will be read as we light candles to remember them."
Ongoing from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Candlelight Vigil will take place at the Dellinger Park gazebo, 100 Pine Grove Road in Cartersville.
"The vigil will include a call to action for participants to join the fight to stop domestic violence beginning with our community," Millsaps said. "If we as community members come together to say, 'No more to the silence' of domestic violence, we will make a difference. Some people believe that domestic violence won’t ever affect their lives. Many believe that the victims of domestic violence are at fault for the violence. Others believe that victims could prevent the violence that has occurred in their relationships.
"Many have learned the previous statements are not true. Over 4 million women are victimized by their husbands or boyfriends each year in the United States. Domestic violence is like throwing a stone in a pond, the ripples spread out to everyone. In 29 percent of the cases studied through Georgia’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Project, children witnessed the homicide."
Christian League for Battered Women’s golf tournament will tee off at 9 a.m. at Woodland Hills Golf Club, 256 Summit Ridge Drive in Cartersville. Registration and breakfast will begin at 8 a.m.
"We are hosting our 22nd annual tournament and can never say thank you enough to the players, community sponsors and our golf committee,” said Zanett Ellington, community relations coordinator for Christian League for Battered Women. "Our goal is to provide a better experience each year where they want to continue supporting our annual tournament, Tranquility House and the domestic violence movement. Thank you for your continued support, it means a great deal.
"October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month, and we have the opportunity to host these events to bring about awareness to the problem of domestic violence and our organization. Georgia is ranked 14th in the nation for men killing women due to domestic violence. We have had two deaths in Bartow County this year, one due to intimate partner and the other by the hands of other."
Entry fees for the tournament are $400 per team and $100 per individual. While participants can sign up the day of the benefit, they are encouraged to register in advance.
For more information about the tournament and vigil, contact the Christian League for Battered Women at 770-386-8093 or visit www.tranquility-house.org.