BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors and members of the Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) community came together for a silent witness walk and candlelight vigil at the Jackson Park Community Center in Bremerton, Wash., Oct. 1, officially kicking off the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness month.
Holding signs and banners, Sailors and members of the community walked through Jackson Park military housing, in hopes to promote domestic violence awareness throughout the community.
"Domestic violence is an issue that touches more of us than what we would like to admit. There is hurting, there is harm that's being done in our homes and we need to make people aware of that," said Cmdr. Brian Haley, chaplain, NBK. "It's more than just having an annual observance, but to be mindful of the fact that it doesn't take much for families to heat up to the point where there can be violence in the home. Sometimes it's happening right under our noses without us realizing or admitting it. The real shame is the children that get caught up in it. It's important for us to admit that it's a reality, and to identify where it's occurring and what we can do to prevent it, and to help and heal those who have gotten caught in it."
A candlelight vigil was held after the walk to help further the community's awareness of domestic violence. During the vigil, Sailors from Trident Training Facility, NBK Bangor, presented silent witness silhouettes, each representing a victim of domestic violence that lived within the community. These silhouettes will be displayed throughout NBK, Jackson Park and NBK Bangor.
"The purpose of the vigil is to give a voice to those who have died. All of the victims represented were all related to the Navy," said Britt Feldman, chief of clinical services for Fleet and Family Service Center, NBK.
Feldman hopes to hold these annual walks and vigils to further promote domestic violence awareness.
"This is our way of being proactive about things. Domestic violence is something that's serious, it impacts people from generations upon generations," said Feldman. "This is our opportunity to bring awareness to the community and hope they get involved so we can put an end to the violence."
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwpacen/.