Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Domestic Violence

This year victims are plentiful with three domestic violence deaths in Leon County already this year. Three women have been murdered in domestic violence cases in Leon County, and in each case a boyfriend or a husband is under arrest for it.

A candlelight vigil will honor those women and others who have been abused at the hands of men who claim to love them.

Cecile Kemp clutches a picture of a dear family friend found shot to death in her car back in February of 2003. Evelyn Rosado's boyfriend is accused of pulling the trigger and is still awaiting trial.

Cecile says, "How do you tell a five-year-old that his mom is gone? That somebody took her from him? That's hard to do."

2004 has been an especially deadly year with three domestic deaths already in Leon County.

In March, Sarah Fields was killed during a sexual encounter at a southside home. Her boyfriend is charged with murder.

In July, Doris Losey was strangled to death in her home. Her boyfriend was arrested in Arizona and charged with killing her.

Just a few weeks ago, 28-year-old John Bailey was arrested. He's accused of strangling his wife Kelly and stashing her body in a closet.

Counselors at Refuge House say the community needs to stand up and take notice.

Kelly Otte of Refuge House says, "We can't let the issue become dormant. We can't let complacency take over. We have to keep reminding people that if we don't address the issue, women die."

Cecile Kemp adds, "Your family needs you. Your friends need you. If you even think that what somebody is doing to you is questionable, get away from them."

To give some perspective, Leon County typically has one or two domestic murders a year. We've already surpassed that for 2004, and the latest stats show that more than 1,400 women in Leon County were victims of domestic violence last year. The bulk were physically assaulted and 25 were forcibly raped.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and you need help, you can call the Refuge House hotline at 681-2111.