SAVANNAH, GA- October marks a month of awareness for many diseases and public issues. One that those in Savannah want more attention towards is domestic violence.
More than eleven women were killed in the past 4 years due to domestic violence in Chatham County, according to Safe Shelter Center for Domestic Violence.
“These victims need someone to speak for them,” says Jean Ahrens of the shelter’s board of directors.
Silent victims that groups like the Safe Shelter center for Domestic Violence want to give a voice and attention to, in order to spark change.
“It happens, we are losing our community members it is affecting not only the victim, but the families the children, schools, congregations, it’s affecting our entire family,” says Ahrens.
It impacted the Brown family. When Lauren Brown Smart was murdered by her husband. Her cousin Kyley says the tragedy only continued after Lauren’s death.
“Before that I didn’t know a lot about it and in the past year we’ve learned more than we ever wanted to know,” Kyley Brown Sheppard says.
Smart’s death along with ten other women are included in the moreover 90 victims of at home violence in Georgia. Deaths, those who were affected by it say should have been avoided.
“The police couldn’t do anything about it, something like that needs to be changed they need to be able to go into that house and separate these people that are having these kind of problems,” says relative and Tybee Island City councilman Barry Brown.
In addition to push awareness, those affected by domestic violence this month and moving forward ask leaders to push for better means of tracking violent people so that those on the outside can maybe save a life.
“We need leadership not just a few individuals but as a community and once our leaders recognize this is a problem and support efforts to end domestic violence and crime then nothing will happen,” says Ahrens.
Safe Shelter kicked off their awareness campaign this weekend with a candlelight vigil. They will now display around Savannah red cut outs of women with plaques of the names of those who have died due to domestic violence.