Bianchi Speaks to Turning Point Candle Lighting Ceremony

McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi’s comments at Turning Point’s Candlelight Vigil October 12, 2011:

Lou Bianchi

The brutality, ugliness, horror and atrocities associated with domestic violence are images that came to mind when I was asked to speak tonight.

And then when I set those emotions aside and thought about the night…a “candlelight vigil”…I felt somewhat relieved and sat down to a few thoughts.

Because we are here tonight to do three important things:

  1. To commemorate the lives of those who have died as a result of domestic violence
  2. To honor those who have survived
  3. To increase awareness of domestic violence.

Just 10 days ago, many walked the trails at Veteran Acres on a crisp Saturday morning, wearing special hats and T shirts to bring awareness to the issue of mental illness.

Less than a week ago, there was the “pink edition” Northwest Herald to draw attention to the fight against breast cancer

During the past two weeks T shirts hung from several clothes’ lines hung in the courthouse providing written testimony from victims of domestic violence and tonight we light candles to

  • commemorate the lost lives,
  • honor survivors and
  • bring hope for an end to domestic violence.

We are here tonight to join the many thousands of others around the country (in towns like China Grove, North Carolina, Mandeville, Louisiana, Batesville, Arkansas, to Fallon, Nevada and Hillsboro, Oregon) recognizing “Domestic Awareness” month.

While, in a short time, we will light candles, we will light candles, while others, perhaps even as I speak, are:

  1. Walking though their communities
  2. Hanging an estimated 35,000 to 50,000 t shirts on clothes’ lines
  3. Lighting candles as we are…at vigils similar to ours.
  4. There is even a Zumba event in Monroe Connecticut…incidentally I am grateful to Bev Thomas and Jane Farmer for choosing to light candles rather than Zumba.

Before closing, I want to remind you of some of those thoughts that appeared on T shirts for the close line project.  Here are
some samples from around the country:

a. Love shouldn’t hurt
b. Like mother, like daughter, we were both raped on a college ca
c. You can batter my body but you can’t touch my spirit.
d. The only time you bought me new glasses was when you punch
e. If hate didn’t kill him, what did?
f. Men can be victims too.
g. To the guy who wanted to ruin my life, you failed.
h. Going back strong
i. You took my past; you took my present; the future is mine.

And finally, While we cannot make such bold statements as they have about eliminating breast cancer within the next decade, we can and must do what we can, in or outside the courthouse, in or at our shelters, with communities and within our communities and our households and whether little or bold to avert, deter and end domestic violence.

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