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Women's Haven remembers domestic violence victims killed at annual silhouette walk

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
Source KSWO) Source KSWO)

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)-October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this morning, the Women's Haven of Duncan held their annual silhouette walk to remember the victims killed in violent relationships.

Their stories were shown on red silhouettes tied around trees and fences. Altogether, there were 30 victims remembered, with 9 of those from Stephens and Jefferson Counties dating back to 1981.  Among them was 14-year-old Alyssa Wiles of Duncan, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in her home in 2013.

Alyssa's mom Angela Wiles says it means a lot that the Women's Haven, the city of Duncan, and other organizations throughout Oklahoma have continued to show support and honor her daughter Alyssa. She says if she was alive today she would be so overwhelmed with joy and thankful that so many people are behind a cause that has taken too many lives away.

"If we didn't do these things then her name would just be left, she would not have a legacy, said Wiles.

They are now paying it forward for other families in similar situations. A new law will go into effect November first that will allow families of victims of murder to get victim protective orders.

"Because we were not a victim of the crime we were not allowed to obtain these orders of protection, so this law now allows us to
, said Wiles.

Angela Wiles says her daughter Alyssa would have been a senior at Duncan High School this year getting ready to take her senior portraits. She says this silhouette brings back memories of how her daughter was killed but it also reminds her of how her daughter was such a great role model in the community and how she made everyone laugh and smile.

"She was a bubbly little person quirky is the word that we like to use to describe her. She loved to dance she went to heartbeat dance in town. She didn't care what people thought about her. She was just going to laugh smile and giggle
, said Wiles.

Women's Haven Education Director Amie Booth says people need to know that domestic violence can happen to anyone. Leaving is the most dangerous fear victims face when they end a relationship.


" Every one of the victims that are out here have been murdered because of that relationship. A good number of them when you read their stories it happened after they took steps to get out of that relationship and it is one of the most dangerous times for a victim of domestic violence, said Booth.

Booth says it tragic for a family to lose someone at a young age because of domestic violence. She says their goal is to help other families avoid what Wiles and their daughter went through.

"We have participated in presentations at middle schools were we go in and talk about teen dating violence to try to help some younger children understand that this is a possibility and that this is something that can happen to them and the dangers that sometimes  go along with being in an abusive relationship
, said Booth.

Wiles says their passion to keep Alyssa's name and story strong would not have been possible without  the community and Women's Haven.
 They have a dance scholarship in remembrance of Alyssa. The scholarships are awarded to 3 dancers and they are each $ 500 dollars.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.
 

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