Families gather in Richland for domestic violence candlelight vigil

<p>Candlelight Vigil</p>

Candlelight Vigil

Dozens of people affected by domestic violence in the Mid-Columbia gather in Richland tonight for a candlelight vigil, to remember victims and their families.

The remembrance service is put on by the Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties.

Volunteers set up 37 red silhouettes of local residents who were killed as a result of domestic violence.

They also lit more than 300 candles on the ground to signify each victim they have helped house in a shelter in 2011.

Those who are raising awareness about domestic violence say it affects just about everybody.

"National statistics indicate that one out of every four women will be a victim of domestic or sexual violence in her lifetime, so that means that every one of us knows someone, whether it's a co-worker, or a neighbor, or a family members that is a victim of domestic violence" said Kelly Abken, Domestic Violence Services.

Volunteers say if you believe domestic violence is happening around you, trust your gut and don't be afraid to ask people if they're ok, or if they need help.

You can also call the Domestic Violence Services 24 hour crisis hotline at 509-582-9841.

Since the Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties started in 2003, it has sheltered more than 3,000 victims and children.

Volunteers have also answered nearly 100,000 phone calls on its 24 hour crisis line.