Symbolic table setup at the courthouse
by By Portia Williams
PDT Staff Writer
When a life is lost due to a horrific act of domestic violence, it leaves an empty seat at the dinner table. The Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence acknowledges the victims by setting a dinner table at the Scioto County courthouse for display each year.
Yvonne Lyon and Louann Hoffer, co-directors of the Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence set up the table in the courthouse. The table and six chairs sit in the rotunda of the courthouse, equipped with plates, glasses, silverware and two lit candles.
“The setting of the tables began at the state level, they do one every year for one day. We got the idea from them. We wanted to bring it to our county and do it the whole month of October, since it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” Hoffer said.
There is also a banner hanging above the table displaying the names of 29 people from Scioto County who were killed as a result of domestic violence.
“We know every single one those victims and have dealt with each of them, and it is very that this has to happen. We want to help them in any way, so that we don’t have another name to put on the table,” Lyon said.
Hoffer said purpose of the table is to spread awareness of domestic violence.
“This lets the people that walk through the courthouse know that it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and that we do have it in our county. It also lets them know that there is an agency here that is waiting to help people that have this issue,” Hoffer said.
The Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence will host the 23rd annual Candlelight Vigil Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. in the courthouse.
According to Lyons, the purpose of the vigil is to remember the victims of domestic violence and to remind survivors.
“This is something that we do each year and we would love for community to come out. It is open to the public,” Lyons said.
She said there will be singing and refreshments, as well as survivors to share their personal story.
“We would love to have anyone that has lost a loved one to domestic violence can come. When we open up the vigil for them to talk, we would like to hear from them to give them some closure,” Lyon said.
The Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence is a United Way Agency. For more information call 1-800-570-1819.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.
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