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YWCA Honors Victims During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The individuals who had their lives taken due to domestic violence in Lycoming County will be remembered during the YWCA Northcentral PA’s annual vigil at 5 p.m., Oct. 17 at the Lycoming County Courthouse.

For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the organization aims to honor victims, support survivors and bring attention to this very serious issue that plagues our community through events in October.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. It can take the form of physical violence, insults and degradation, threatening one’s children or pets, isolating the victim away from friends and family or limiting the victim’s access to money.

In Pennsylvania there were 117 fatalities in 2017 due to domestic violence, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The risk of homicide increases by 500 percent when guns are present.

“During Domestic Violence Awareness Month our goal is to let the people of Lycoming County know Wise Options is available for anybody experiencing abuse at home,” said Amber Morningstar, Program Director. “The vigil is a special event where the community comes together to honor those we lost and unite to end domestic violence.”

The victims honored were mothers, sons, daughters and friends whose names deserve to be remembered.

The YWCA will also be at First Friday, Oct. 5, at Pine Square as well as in the Mummer’s Parade, Oct. 20, in South Williamsport.

“Participating in these community events helps us to spread awareness about our life-saving programs at the YWCA,” Morningstar said.

Throughout October the “Empty Seat at the Table,” a display that has a place setting for each victim who lost their life to domestic violence, will be in the Rotunda at the YWCA. The table has plates with their names, birthdays and death days on them to symbolize that they may be gone but are not forgotten.

Wise Options is a safe haven for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the city of Williamsport. The YWCA provides a 24/7 confidential crisis hotline at 1-800-326-8483, an emergency shelter, counselling, legal advocacy and education. All services are free to the public.

Last year Wise Options served 848 adults and 74 child victims of domestic violence. There were also 406 screenings and intakes for Protection from Abuse Orders.

A way to support Wise Options is to participate in Paint the Town Purple, a citywide competition between businesses who will decorate their space in purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. From Oct. 5-15 the community can vote at each location by donating a dollar.

For additional information on Wise Option’s visit

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