Dove candlelight

The 19th Annual Shelby County Dove Inc. Candlelight Ceremony against domestic violence is set for this Thursday at 7 p.m. at the 1st Assembly of God in Shelbyville.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the 19th Annual Shelby County Dove Candlelight Ceremony will be held this Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the First Assembly of God Church on the corner of West Main and Oak Street.

“Every nine seconds a woman is assaulted. More than three women are murdered every day,” said Susie Kensil. “This year the reality of that hit home, that people die from domestic violence. It happened here locally to Samantha Cushing. A special candle will be lit in her honor at this year’s ceremony.”

Kensil states that one in five teenage girls face violence during a breakup with their boyfriends.

“The women aren’t the only ones who suffer,” Kensil says. “Children witness abuse. Eight million workdays are lost each year to domestic violence. More than 32,000 jobs are lost because of domestic violence.”

Domestic Violence programs will be holding observances and Candlelight vigils to remember victims and honor survivors. These will happen all over the nation this month.

“Domestic Violence is an issue to be aware of,” said a Dove spokesperson. “It is happening all around us, in every community, every day. Domestic Violence is not a “problem within the home or family” as many people claim. It is a crime. It is a crime against the victim and a crime against our state. It is as much a crime as car theft, burglary, or murder, which it can unfortunately turn into.”

Dove says that if you see or hear something suspicious, please call your local law enforcement. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with this issue, please call one of the Dove, Inc. offices. In Shelby County, call (217)774-4888 (crisis line) or (217)774-3121.

John Curtis can be reached at

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