More than 50 people have been killed in Indiana in the last year in domestic violence incidents.
To commemorate the lives lost and spread awareness of the ongoing problem, victims’ advocates and community leaders are hosting a ceremony this week in Franklin. Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, a nonprofit dedicated to the elimination of domestic abuse, and Franklin College are hosting the event Thursday at the college.
The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. at Dame Mall, 101 Branigin Blvd. It is open to the public.
A clothesline display of 55 shirts, each with the name and age of a victim killed in domestic violence in Indiana, will be shown. The clothesline display is a national program that serves as a visual reminder of how tragic dating and domestic violence can be.
“The clothesline serves two purposes. One is to honor the lives of those who’ve been lost and it serves as a visual reminder that it is still an issue, and that we’re working to eradicate it in the communities we serve,” said Whittney Loyd, vice president of resource development at Turning Point.
Franklin College student groups are working on the shirt display and talking about the issue on campus.
The ceremony Thursday will feature speakers from advocacy groups, victims’ rights representatives and law enforcement.
“(Domestic violence) is a huge issue everywhere — including Johnson County,” said Stephanie Cunningham, Turning Point community services director.
Turning Point provides an emergency shelter, a crisis support line that is staffed 24 hours a day year-round, crisis counseling services, safety planning and referrals to other organizations.
“If it doesn’t happen to us, we’ll know someone who is a victim of domestic violence. It’s important that everyone knows about domestic violence or that they know how to help a friend, family member or co-worker. Everyone can do something. It takes all of us working together to try and stop it,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham makes sure that anyone who comes into the local office in Franklin knows that they are supported and works with them to put together a safety plan and know the community resources available to them.
Clients are referred to Turning Point through law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office, the United Way and other community agencies. Victims include men, women, married and single people, same-sex couples, heterosexual couples, teens and senior citizens, Cunningham said.