Decatur vigil remembers lives lost to domestic violence

In 2022, more than 150 people in Georgia lost their lives to domestic violence. On Thursday night, each of those victims was remembered at a vigil held on the square in Decatur.

In all, 154 names of women, men and children were read. They ranged in age from the unborn to 87-years-old.

Dionna Scott is a survivor, having lived through a terrifying ordeal.

"There were a lot of things involved, he hit me, broke my jaw and I ended up in the emergency room," Scott said.

She spent eight months in a safe house and now has created a new, healthier life for herself and her children.

"I went back to school, started my own business, my daughters graduated from high school, one who is going to college," said Scott.

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The story had a much different ending for Alice Gamble's sister.

"My sister was murdered by her husband just when she was trying to leave, which is the most dangerous time in a domestic violence situation," said Gamble.

That was years ago, but she thinks about her sister as the names of those who were killed are read.

Gamble is now on the board of the Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, the group that organized the vigil.  

The organization assists those in violent situations with emergency housing, counseling, even legal help.  They're available anytime of the day or night, all anyone needs to do is pick up the phone.

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"There's someone on the other end of that line that is going to listen to you, care what you have to say, believe you and support you if you decide to make any changes to the life you're living," said Amber Harris with the Womens Resource Center to End Domestic Violence.

Almost 4,300 calls were made to the Domestic Violence Hotline last year. The 24-hour hotline number is 404-688-9436.  The Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence can be reach at 404-370-7670.