Candle light vigil honors victims of domestic abuse


Breanna Francis, Reporter

Members of Alpha Chi Omega rounded out their month of philanthropy highlighting domestic violence by honoring victims of domestic abuse with a candle light vigil Monday.

“I have known countless people who were too afraid to speak out, and it took them ages to find the strength to protect themselves,” Kelsey Seibert, freshman pre-med biology major, said. “Seeing organizations here on campus put in the effort to educate people and to honor those who suffered these pains really helps to raise awareness but also show those who may be suffering currently that they aren’t alone. It’s a beautiful thing to see, especially geared to younger age groups.”

The sorority’s members had a table throughout last week at the student center where they gave out information about domestic violence, while also offering students the opportunity to donate and write the name of someone who was affected by abuse on the lanterns that would be launched.

“We work closely with the domestic violence shelter, Branches, and all of the sisters of Alpha Chi Omega, whether they are active members or not, and put on a vigil every year,” Natasha McFarland, vice president of philanthropy and a junior health care management major, said.  “It’s an effort to remember those affected by domestic violence in hopes that one day not as many men, women or children will have to experience it.”

McFarland said the vigil was meant to show students and the community that the harm done by this rarely talked about danger is a very real thing, with victims’ lives being forever affected by the violence they experienced.

“We hope that this vigil sent the message that love should never hurt,” McFarland said. “It never has to and it never should. We want this generation to know that this isn’t something that should happen to them, that this isn’t what real love is.”

Though October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, Alpha Chi Omega plans to continue to raise awareness of the dangers of violence in relationships throughout the year with other fundraisers and tabling.

Breanna Francis can be contacted at [email protected].