Vigil participants remember those affected by domestic violence

7 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Marie Cote said on Thursday evening that when she was younger, she knew a number of families that were impacted by domestic violence.

The Houlton resident said that back in the early 1950’s, it was common to hear about children who were “beaten” by their parents for infractions or to hear stories about husbands and wives whose verbal altercations had turned physical.

“I was very lucky in that it never impacted my family,” said Cote, one of the more than 50 people who attended the Hope and Justice Project’s Light It Up

domestic violence vigil in Houlton Thursday. “But I am very glad that events like these have raised awareness about it over the years.”

The second-annual event, which included a walk, remembrance ceremony and vigil, was held at the Houlton Recreation Center.

The Hope and Justice Project offers support services for anyone affected by abuse and violence in Aroostook County, according to its website. The organization provides community and school based education, offers training and hosts events throughout November, which is domestic violence awareness month.

During the ceremony, Travis Humphrey, a Houlton native and singer-songwriter, performed John Lennon’s “Imagine” for the crowd.

The participants then departed for a candlelight walk that took them through the downtown.

April Landry of Houlton attended the event with her sister, Jessica Cyr.

“This is the first time that either of us have come,” said Landry. “I have a few friends who have been impacted by domestic violence in their dating relationships, so I felt that it was important to come out tonight and make a stand.”

Cyr said she was “glad” to see the significant number of men who were in attendance at the event.

“It seems that is a sign that the word is getting out,” she said.