Domestic violence awareness event held in Columbia

Domestic violence awareness event held in Columbia
Photo Credit WDAM
Photo Credit WDAM

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - Victims of domestic violence were remembered in Columbia Friday afternoon.

The WINGS (Women in Need of God's Shelter) organization hosted a balloon release and walk at the Marion County Courthouse.

It was held in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which begins Oct. 1.

Officers from the Marion County Sheriff's Department and the Columbia Police Department attended.

Representatives of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence also took part.

"I just want victims to know that domestic violence isn't always physical, it's mental abuse as well, degrading, belittling, intimidation, manipulation," said Lacey Montgomery, a victim advocate and case manager for WINGS.

"A lot of women stay in (abusive) situations, because they think they can't go anywhere else, well that's not the story anymore," said Berkley Hall, sheriff of Marion County.

"We're going to be there to support (victims)," said Mike Cooper, chief of the Columbia Police Department. "They don't have to be afraid and feel that they're on their own, if they'll make that call and let us know." 

WINGS was founded in 2005 and operates two shelters for victims of domestic violence and their children.

They serve nine counties in the area.