First Step hosts Annual Candlelight Vigil

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A candlelight vigil is set for Tuesday evening in Wichita Falls for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

First Step assisted more than 400 people last year. That is more than one a day living in an abusive relationship.

Debra Dyason, executive director for First Step, said it starts with something people may not consider domestic violence and then escalates.

"Just in Wichita Falls last year the police tell us that their were over 300 reports of family violence and First Step provided services to over 400 people," Dyason said.

First Step serves 12 counties providing services to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Dyason said the seeds of domestic violence are planted at an early age.

"Most of these patterns of behavior are learned very early on when we are young," Dyason said.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 15 children are exposed to abuse of some kind each year and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses.

"Next year I want us to say it's not going to be domestic violence awareness month but domestic violence action month," Dyason said.  "We want to give to an individual or the community the opportunity to do something about it and bring does numbers down."

The candlelight vigil is set for October 24 from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. at the Wellington Banquet and Conference Center in Wichita Falls.

Everyone is welcome to come, but First Step would like you to call their office first, so they know you're coming and have enough seats.

You can reach them at (940) 723-7799

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