By: Garin Flowers
October 24, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - The message at a domestic violence candlelight vigil Wednesday night was simple - domestic violence, mental or physical - is not okay.
Tasheka Paden says she knows domestic violence more than she'd like.
Her ex-husband confronted her at gunpoint inside of a hotel room. She jumped out of a window and survived. A month later after bonding out of jail, he kidnapped and shot her seven times, then himself. She survived, he did not.
"I feel like God kept me here for a reason," Paden said.
"Just to think back on when it happened, it brings me down, but the more I speak about it it lifts me up."
According to the Refuge House, more than 1,000 people have experienced domestic violence in Leon County in the last year.
"We want people to understand what the risks are in situations where domestic violence exists, both for the person who's the adult, but also for the children," said Joani Chase, a board member for Refuge House.
Dozens of people heard the stories of those affected, even from Leon County Commission Chairman Nick Maddox, whose mother was abused.
"Every time I would try to get her to help me understand how a coward could put his hands on you in the name of love, all she would say is that I didn't understand," Maddox said.
As for Paden, she now speaks out about her experience hoping to touch others.
"Don't stay in a situation that's going to harm you, I mean get out, so I hope my story helps them," she said
According to the Refuge House, this year Commissioner Maddox and the Leon County Commission lead the community by enacting a comprehensive, victim centered work place policy to provide workplace support for all 700 Leon County employees.
By: Garin Flowers
October 23, 2013
Leon County, FL - In the past year there have been four deaths as a result of domestic violence in Leon County according to the Refuge House.
Tonight the Refuge House is hosting a candle light vigil at Tom Brown Park for those affected in honor of domestic violence awareness month.
Domestic violence is a crime that affects many. According to the Refuge House there were more than a thousand domestic violence calls to law enforcement this year in Leon County.
Organizations like Refuge House are hoping to fight this issue and they are bringing light to it by holding the candle light vigil and survivor speak out. There will be survivors sharing their stories as a part of this event.
WCTV will have more tonight on Eyewitness News at 11.