Staff Report

Domestic Violence Solutions (DVS), Santa Barbara County’s only full-service provider of 24-hour emergency shelter and services for domestic violence victims, is presenting October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Family, friends and other community members will remember the lives lost to intimate partner violence at candlelight vigils in Lompoc, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.

“Intimate partner violence is a silent epidemic,” said Jan Campbell, executive director of Domestic Violence Solutions. “Due to shame and fear, victims are hesitant to seek the support they need. We need to come together as a community to say “No More!” to violence and abuse.”

Every year since 1987, October has been set aside to bring awareness to the prevalent societal issue of domestic violence. One in three women and one in four men will be victims of intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.

Throughout October, DVS hosts and participates in candlelight vigils in Lompoc, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara. The Lompoc vigil occurred Oct. 10. The others are set for:

n Thursday, Oct. 17, at Ethel Pope Auditorium at Santa Maria High School. Meet and mingle at City Hall at 5pm. Handmade burritos provided by Lideres Campesinas. Memorial Walk starts at City Hall at 6 p.m. and the Vigil Ceremony at 6:30 pm.

n Thursday, Oct. 24, at Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara. A Community Resource Fair begins at 4 p.m. Pizza will be provided by Rusty’s Pizza Parlor. The Vigil Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and the Memorial Walk at 6:30 p.m.