In support of those effected by domestic violence, the staff of CAHS Agency Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault joined with over 60 participants to release purple lanterns into the night sky.

The first annual Light Up The Night for Domestic Violence Awareness was held on Oct. 16. The event remembered those who have lost their lives, celebrate the survivors and pay tribute to those who work to end the violence in our county.

The staff at CAHS see an average of four to ten victims each month. Besides being a comforting ear, the staff also assists with temporary protection order applications, which allows the victim of domestic violence to write out and explain exactly why a restraining order needs to be granted by the courts. Once the order is filled out, it is then taken to the justice of the peace where the judge either approves or denies the request. An advocate from the agency will be with the abused through each step, if so needed.

Besides helping with the legal side of domestic violence, each person who comes to CAHS for domestic violence discusses what they are going through. This step is called peer counseling. The clients then have the opportunity to fill out an evaluation on how they were treated and how the agency can better themselves.

Domestic violence at times turns extremely bad and for those situations, the abused is taken out of harm’s way and out of the area. Many times the abused leaves the home and may have no where to stay. CAHS has a shelter. Any person who is abused can stay at an accommodating motel, but the agency will not put a batterer up for the night.

Many times when an adult is abused, a child is witness to the crime. CAHS has a program in place to help children who have witnessed domestic violence or sexual assault.

Because abuse does not happen between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays only, there is a 24-hour crisis line that is answered seven days a week. An advocate will answer domestic violence or sexual assault calls and will work with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. The dispatcher on duty will contact the appointed advocate to go to the victim’s location, only if a deputy sheriff is on site and the location is safe for the person(s) involved and the advocate.

Light Up The Night for Domestic Violence Awareness ensured that those in our communities are aware of where they can go for help if needed, understand the severity of domestic violence and explained where to turn in case of an event.

If you or anyone you know is in need of an advocate, contact CAHS or the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. Do not stay silent. Your call may save a life.