Flames flickered in the dark as dozens of Orangeburg County residents and officials remembered victims of domestic violence on Monday.
Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, said, “October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is so ironic that we are kicking this off in the horror of what has happened in Las Vegas over the past 24 hours.”
“Please make it your personal mission to have zero tolerance for violence,” she said.
Cobb-Hunter said everyone feels the impact of domestic violence.
“You could very well be sitting next to someone who is a victim of domestic violence or you could very well be sitting next to someone who is the perpetrator of domestic violence,” she said.
The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office collaborated for the annual tribute for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said, “This is a very important time. Being ranked fifth in the country in domestic violence. We need to let that sink in. That’s not a good stat. We can never shy away from this conversation.”
Ravenell, who is also a survivor of domestic violence, said, “I am not a statistic. I’ve been there, so I know there’s hope.”
Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler said the city will support victims of domestic violence.
“If there’s anybody out there who’s going through something like that, please let us know. We can help you out,” he said.
Before members of the community and officials lit candles to honor domestic violence victims, they held a moment of silence for the victims and families affected by the massacre in Las Vegas, Nevada.