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SAFE Shelter honors victims of domestic violence with annual candlelight vigil

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 9:35 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Thousands of men, women and children around the country die every year from domestic violence.

Here in Georgia, just over 160 people lost their lives in 2020. Employees, volunteers & supporters of SAFE Shelter, the center for domestic violence services here in Savannah, gathered at Forsyth Park to remember the victims at their annual candlelight vigil.

The SAFE Shelter executive director says there was one intimate partner-related homicide in Chatham County last year.

But one is already too many. One survivor I spoke with says October marks 24 years since she got out of her abusive relationship.

“24 years ago, my husband of eight years, tried to kill me. Stabbed me 26 times from the top of my head, top of my thighs both arms and all over my back and left me for dead,” said Yukeyveaya Wright.

Wright calls herself a “thriver”. She shared her story with the dozens of people who came to Forsyth Park for SAFE Shelter’s annual candle light vigil.

SAFE Shelter says Savannah Police reported 284 domestic violence related aggravated assaults in 2020. That’s up from 242 assaults in 2019. Chatham County Police reported 43 domestic violence related aggravated assaults last year.

Wright hopes sharing her story will encourage victims of abuse to ask for help because resources like SAFE Shelter are here when they need them.

“There are others of us like me that have been in these abusive relationships, marriages that you don’t have to live this way. There’s a way out,” said Wright.

Safe Shelter received nearly 1,500 crisis calls last year. They were able to provide their services to just over 1,300 victims of domestic violence.

Safe Shelter can be reached 24-hours a day, seven days a week, by calling (912) 629-8888.

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