COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - At least 2,035 Georgians lost their lives due to domestic violence between 2003 and 2018 according to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. One Columbus domestic violence shelter held its biggest fundraising event of the year Thursday.
Hope Harbour held their annual “Celebration of Hope” Luncheon to raise money in order to help domestic violence victims rebuild their lives by offering support and resources. Hope Harbour’s services include their domestic violence program, crisis line, and shelter to help thousands of domestic violence victims move toward a safe future.
This year’s keynote speaker was Tanya Brown, the sister of the late Nicole Brown Simpson. Brown shared her sister’s story and ways she has helped advocate for domestic violence victims across the country.
“It’s not a new issue. There are so many people out there that are in the same situations. The same situation, different face so the one thing, the biggest thing you can do and the most courageous thing is pick up that phone and ask for help because Nicole wasn’t a lucky one," Brown said.
Hope Harbour Executive Director Lindsey Reis says the most dangerous time for a victim is when they are leaving or have already left the relationship. She says victims often leave their homes with nothing so they turn to domestic violence shelters for safety and support.
“We have an amazing community. It’s a very giving community, but domestic voilence is not something that often people talk about or want to talk about so to know that we’ve got this many people that are coming out that are being educated on it that will be able to share this when they go back out into the community is huge," Reis said.
The luncheon was held at Rivermill Event Centre. WTVM’s own Barbara Gauthier emceed the event.