Candlelight vigil raises awareness to domestic violence - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Candlelight vigil raises awareness to domestic violence

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. One organization in Billings is shedding light on the issue in hopes of changing lives.

Angela's Piazza is a social services organization that helps women who have been through domestic violence. On Tuesday night, the organization set up a candle light vigil event in hopes to raise the bar in awareness.

"And someone has taken your mind and switched it all around," said one survivor at the vigil who spoke. "You don't know the difference when you have all the drugs and alcohol and you have this person that's feeding everything to you.

Dozens of people gathered in front of Angela's Piazza to speak about domestic violence. Many sat around the silhouettes that represented women whose lives were lost because of domestic violence.

"This is domestic violence month and we wanted an outdoor candle light vigil, which is the perfect setting on Grand Avenue," Sister Mary said. She is the director of Angela's Piazza. "That has lots of traffic to help raise awareness about domestic violence and it's very prevalent in our society. It's often hidden. People don't talk about it."

Sister Mary is the director of Angela's Piazza and said many women who experience domestic violence are unaware that it's happening to them. She said others try to hide it out of shame. One survivor of domestic violence attended the candlelight vigil to support others.

"Domestic violence," Shilo Rides The Bear said. "It is hidden and a lot of people- women- are afraid to come out with it."

Sister Mary said this is the fourth annual vigil and the number of people who attend grows each year. She also said even though the organization focuses on women, men are always welcome at Angela's Piazza if they ever need help.

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