TOPEKA (KSNT) – October is domestic violence awareness month. On Saturday, a local family held a fundraiser in honor of a loved one, who died because of domestic violence.
“One person, every 10 days is killed by domestic violence,” Lynette Grandstaff said, “My daughter being one of them. This is completely preventable.”
20 year old Hannah King, Lynette’s daughter, was killed in a violent domestic attack last September. Over a year later, her family continues to honor her spirit and memory, holding a fundraiser in south Topeka early Saturday, to raise awareness and support for domestic violence victims.
“I want an open dialogue with people,” Grandstaff said. “I want this to not be a taboo subject anymore. I want people to talk about what they’re actually feeling for real in their relationship. ”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
“We know that last year in Kansas alone there was a domestic violence incident that occurred every 22 minutes in our state, and a domestic violence homicide that occurred every 10 days,” YWCA Public Education Coordinator Emily Steimel said. “We know this is an issue that is affecting our state, and our community. It’s prevalent and it’s insidious.”
If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence, resources are readily available in your community, when you are ready to reach out.
“The first move is to know that you are not alone, and you are not to blame for the violence you are experiencing,” Steimel said. “Advocates at the center for safety and empowerment are available 24 hours a day thorough our free and confidential helpline. That is a great first step to get connected to safety planning, with case management, counseling, and other supportive services.”
“It shouldn’t hurt to love,” Grandstaff said. “If you find yourself in a situation where you keep saying but I love him, you need to reevaluate the situation that you’re in.”
50% of the proceeds raised from the event will be donated to the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment. The other 50% will go to Hannah’s almost 5 year-old daughter Mylen, for her education fund.
For YWCA resources, click here.