Remembering Victims of Domestic Violence
A candlelight vigil will take place in Greensboro Wednesday to remember the slain victims of domestic violence.
According to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there were 73 known domestic violence homicides in North Carolina in 2011, 15 of them were children.
Most of these homicides were perpetrated by men, and most of the victims were women.
Portia Shipman is founder and executive director of the Sherri Denese Jackson Foundation for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Jackson, 27, lived in Greensboro and was killed by an abusive boyfriend in 2006. Her body was discovered buried in a backyard 19 months later.
Shipman was friends with Jackson and worked with her family to create the non-profit organization in 2008.
“I used to see Sherri and sometimes she would wear shades at night and turtlenecks in the summer, so during that time there were things that were quite different about her. I didn’t notice it much because when you think of Sherri, you think about someone who was strong willed and had her life fixed. No one is immune,” says Shipman.
Shipman says domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of economic status, race or gender.
The foundation provides educational outreach in schools, as well as emotional and social support for victims and their families. The 5th annual candlelight vigil will be held in Greensboro Wednesday, June 26 in honor of Jackson and other victims of domestic violence.
The community is invited to participate in the event called Stand Up and Be Counted. Shipman says many survivors will share their stories.
“It’s a purple candlelight vigil. It will have a mini protest with it because we want to create awareness. We will also have music, balloons and people reading poetry.”
Shipman says, “We have about 12 victims on our wall of remembrance that have actually lost their lives to domestic violence and every time we do something to remember Sherri, we remember these victims.”
The candlelight vigil begins at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Sherri Denese Jackson Foundation on East Market Street in Greensboro.