Tallahassee resident Stephanie Nunne is enjoying an afternoon at Lake Ella.
Years ago however, life wasn't so carefree
As a child, Nunne watched in horror as her mother was abused. "It was an awful thing growing up as a kid just seeing the late night beating and the late night punches,” she says. “Growing up as a kid; seeing that is really hard."
As part of Domestic Violence Month, the Refuge House is encouraging families and victims to join together and speak out.
Nunne and many others say sharing stories of hope and survival shows other victims they're not alone.
"I think it’s very important for them to get the word out about violence because Tallahassee, being a college town, there's a lot of violence that is unheard and reported," said Wendy McGhe, whose college roommate was raped in front of their FAMU dorm.
Shantasia Johnson says as a student, she often hears about domestic violence. "I have friends that have been in the situation where they're getting abused by their mates and they're afraid to get out of the situation. They think the situation will get better and it actually gets worse and worse,” she said. “So, it’s something that needs to be brought forward and reported."
Families and victims who attended the vigil lit candles in remembrance of people who lost their lives to domestic violence.
The Refuge House says it holds the event every year to give survivors a chance to speak out and empower others.