2 events to raise awareness of domestic violence

The Northcentral Pennsylvania chapter of the YWCA will be holding two events this month to raise awareness for domestic violence.

A vigil of remembrance to honor the 15 adults and children who have lost their lives to domestic violence in Lycoming County since 1996 will be held on the steps of the Lycoming County Courthouse at 5 p.m. Oct. 11.

The county’s chief detective, William Weber, will be the keynote speaker. The public also will be invited to speak.

“This is an opportunity to remember a friend or a loved one, or for a survivor to speak out about their struggle with violence,” said Amber Morningstar, YWCA Wise Options program co-director. “Those we remember at the vigil were parents, children and friends and they’re names deserve to be remembered.”

Parents, children and friends are remembered at the vigil.

“Their names deserve to be remembered,” Morningstar said.

At its second event, the YWCA will host a “What Would You Do” interactive roundtable discussion at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24.

The discussion is open to the public.

“This roundtable discussion will put real skills into the hands of the public,” Morningstar said. “We will focus on how to respond to a friend or a loved one you think is experiencing abuse, how to intervene if you see a violent situation, how employers can care for staff who are struggling with abuse and more.”

The YWCA’s Wise Options program provides 24/7 emergency services to all who are seeking to escape a physically, emotionally, financially or sexually abusive relationship.

More than 1,000 women, men and children seek out the services of Wise Options every year and that’s just a small fraction of those who are suffering, according to the YWCA site.