My Turn: Vigil, march to raise awareness of domestic violence
T he numbers are staggering: One out of every two women in Merrimack County will experience domestic violence or sexual assault in her lifetime. As leaders in our faith communities, we believe this is not acceptable, and we are committed to seeing our culture change.
In the past, faith communities have often been silent and let this be just “a family matter,” but we know that domestic violence isn’t isolated. It affects many areas of our society and makes our whole community unsafe. We know that 80 percent of people in prison have some history with domestic or sexual violence.
It is time that we draw this issue out from the darkness and into the light. It is time that we talk about it in public.
This weekend, many faith communities in the Concord area will be lifting up the issue of domestic and sexual violence in their pulpits. Faith leaders will be preaching about this challenging issue that causes harm to so many.
By doing this, our hope is that people will see that violence is not an acceptable way to be in relationships with each other. By speaking out, we want to change the culture of violence and transform lives to see a different and better way.
As a culmination of this weekend of preach-ins, the Greater Concord Interfaith Council is sponsoring a vigil and candlelight march on Sunday at 7 p.m. The candlelight march will start at South Congregational Church and end at the State House.
We invite the entire community to come out and join us. Bring this issue out into the light and say, “No more!” No more violence as a way to solve problems. No more women and families living in fear. No more acceptance of violence in our culture. No more excuses.
Join us in bringing the issue of domestic violence into the light so we can help end it, together.
(The Rev. Michael Leuchtenberger is minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord. Other organizers of the vigil and march include the Rev. Virginia Fryer, pastor, Bow Mills United Methodist Church; Rev. Jonathan Hopkins, pastor, Concordia Lutheran Church of Concord; and the Rev. Rosanne Roberts, pastor, Wesley United Methodist Church of Concord.)