October is typically known for fall festivities and piles of colorful leaves, not to mention Halloween. Many remember October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Fewer might remember the month for victims of domestic violence. But at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, those affected by domestic violence are commemorated at an interdenominational vigil.
For church community and diaconal minister Kirsten Kessel, breaking the silence about domestic violence against both women and men is the most important part of the discussion. “[We need to] create awareness in our community that this issue crosses all boundaries,” Kessel says. “Whether you’re poor or rich, domestic violence is a part of the story.”
This year’s vigil on October 4 is the third one hosted by Mount Olivet, and many of the successful features from last year will be the same—personal stories from victims and the lighting of a candle for each person in the community who lost their life to domestic violence. “It’s a really great collaborative effort,” Kessel says.
Several churches from the area and Home Free, a women and children’s shelter, have worked with Mount Olivet to make the event possible.