By AMY LONG
Monday night battered women received a show of support in the form of a candlelight vigil.
The vigil, sponsored by the Utah County Domestic Violence Coalition, featured music and speeches. Provo Mayor George Stewart read a proclamation against domestic violence.
Meetings on grassy lawns such as the park adjacent to the Provo Tabernacle, where the vigil was held, have certain inherent risks.
“When we came this morning (to set up) the sprinklers were on,” said Prevention Education Chair of the Utah County Domestic Violence Coalition Vicki Proctor. “We had to tell them to turn them off.”
Proctor is also the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Provo Police Department.
As the coordinator for victim assistance, Proctor makes sure that victims get the resources they need. She also helps victims obtain court orders and make statements to police at the domestic violence scene.
The sub-committee of the Utah County Domestic Coalition thought holding a vigil would be a good idea, Proctor said.
Planning for the vigil began at the end of July.
Felice Sanchez, a senior from Payson High School, sang at the vigil along with the Utah Valley Youth Council. Sanchez is president of the Youth Council.
The Youth Council began 10 years ago, Sanchez said. It is consists of three high school students from every high school in Utah County except Timpview.
The council’s services are completely voluntary, Sanchez said.
An executive council sorts through petitions to the group from various humanitarian organizations. Then the group decides whether they have the time and desire to lend their voices to the occasion, Sanchez said.
William Gigueri, Youth Council member from American Fork High School, said he enjoys being with the group more for the service than for the singing.
Proctor knew of the council from previous contact.
“I’ve provided domestic violence classes for them,” Proctor said. She and the council also participated in Red Ribbon Week last year.
One attendee, who wished to remain anonymous because of previous contact with a domestic violence situation, said that public events such as the vigil are a good form of support. However, the perpetrators who need to learn about domestic violence rarely go to such events.
There are options and resources for victims other than living in violence. Children are being severely affected by witnessing violence in the home, Proctor said.
The purpose of the vigil was to make people realize that domestic violence has a severe impact on children and families, Proctor said. Children deserve the right to grow up in homes free of violence.