By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – Every 8 seconds, a woman is beaten by someone who says he loves her. Every 2 hours, a woman is killed by someone who says he loves her.
Those are the words written across the top of a poster that was circulated recently around the area in recognition of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
In addition, last Thursday evening, Oct. 18, a few local women organized a Walk Against Violence in downtown Hot Springs, followed by a Candlelight Vigil in Kidney Springs.
Donna Talley with W.E.A.V.E. (Women Escaping A Violent Environment), based in Custer, along with board member Jacki Lockwood of Hot Springs, were the two primary individuals who have put on the event in Hot Springs for the past few years. Both women have also been directly impacted by domestic violence and hosted the event to help others come forward with their stories and to get help.
During the vigil, Talley said that people do not choose to be victims, but they can choose to be strong survivors.
The W.E.A.V.E. shelter in Custer that she operates helped 78 families last year by providing a safe place to live, away from their abusers. She said the secure and private shelter features five separate apartments, as well as an office, where they have a total of 25 beds at any given time for those who need them.
Referring to one’s situation and how they can save themselves against their abuser, Talley said, “We can’t change someone else, but only our circumstances.”
Things that W.E.A.V.E can assist with includes: Emergency Shelter, Food & Clothing, Advocate Counseling & Referrals, Emergency Transportation, Child Care, Victim Compensation, Protection Orders/Criminal Justice Advocacy, Preventive Education for Teens, Volunteers and Community, Promoting Public Awareness, Providing Support Groups and Counseling, and Phones/Locks.
W.E.A.V.E. is one of the many local agencies that is benefited by the Southern Hills United Way and their annual fundraising campaign which is underway now. To learn how you can contribute, go to www.unitedwayblackhills.org.
For more information about W.E.A.V.E., or to seek help, their 24 hour Help Line is 605-673-HELP (4357).
Photo By Brett Nachtigall/Fall River County Herald
Jacki Lockwood, left, and Donna Talley participate in a candlelight vigil in recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness month. Prior to the vigil under the gazebo in Kidney Springs in downtown Hot Springs, the two ladies also led a police escorted walk on North River Street from the Hot Springs Police Department to Kidney Springs. Talley is the director of W.E.A.V.E. (Women Escaping A Violent Environment), while Lockwood is one of the board members of W.E.A.V.E.