MOUNT VERNON — New Directions, the Domestic Abuse Shelter of Knox County, held a Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil Tuesday night to commemorate October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The vigil was held on Public Square.
The night of awareness included Mayor Richard Mavis reading a domestic violence proclamation, the lighting of candles in remembrance of victims, and a keynote address by Job & Family Services director Matthew Kurtz, as well as music and poetry.
Mayor Mavis has been supportive of the DELTA Project, Knox County’s abuse prevention program, since it started 30 years ago. The proclamation declared that the intent of the yearly observance is to increase awareness of the domestic violence and to encourage everyone to work to put an end to the abuse.
A poem was read by New Directions volunteer Heidi Burns and music was provided by Sarah Goslee Reed.
Kurtz spoke to the need for healthy relationships and pointed out that “deep down we all yearn for connection; relationships affirm that our lives are truly meaningful.”
Pointing out that relationships are key to life interactions, Kurtz addressed how relationships can be improved, beginning, as with a house, with the foundation. He said rather than a foundation of love, a healthy relationship first needs respect.
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