The mayor, chief of police and members of the Muncie community gathered at City Hall Thursday night to recognize the victims of domestic violence with a candlelight vigil sponsored by the Muncie Victim Advocate Program.
In a special proclamation, Mayor Dan Canan declared October 2002 to be Muncie's Domestic Violence Awareness month, following the lead of President Bush in October of 2001. The mayor urged citizens to be aware of how domestic violence affects the community.
Muncie Police Chief Joe Winkle was also in attendance and expressed concern over the lack of police sympathy toward victims of domestic violence.
"Historically, law enforcement has done a lousy job of investigating domestic violence cases," Winkle said. "We've done a better job but we can always do more."
A representative from the Better Way Shelter was also on hand to share her experiences with victims and offer hope to anyone who might be affected by domestic violence. Theresa Clemmons, the shelter's director, offered insight into why many women stay in abusive situations.
"Its not fear of finances, or of being alone," Clemmons said. "It's fear for yourself or your child."
Miss Ball State 2002, Jennie Keller, who ran on a platform of domestic violence awareness, was at the vigil to show her support for the Victim Advocate Program.
"I thought it was really wonderful that the community was recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness month," said Keller. "It's good to see other Ball State students here. Dating violence is something women at Ball State deal with and it was nice to see students recognize that this is an important issue."332/'>+â-º*FDomesticViolenceVigilDNEditorial332SORT+â-¦+â-ä2AUDT