Attendees to the Fort Jackson Domestic Violence Awareness Month candlelight vigil Oct. 6, hold up candles to remember those affected by domestic violence.

Jackson holds vigil for domestic violence awareness

By Robert Timmons, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Electric candles flickered in the darkened room as Fort Jackson took a moment of silence to honor those affected by domestic violence.

One in four women and one in six men are affected by domestic violence each year.

“It could be a coworker,” said Col. Ryan Hanson, garrison commander, during the vigil. “It could be a friend. It could be a brother – no person should ever have to suffer in silence or in shame.”

“We can help by showing compassion and letting everyone know their voice can be heard,” Hanson said.

Fort Jackson held a domestic violence awareness candlelight vigil Oct. 6 in the Main Post Chapel.

“This event shines a light on the subject that nobody wants to happen in our society,” said Hanson. “Thank you, ACS, for highlighting the severity of the issue, and showing how we can bring awareness and take action to unite as a community against domestic violence.”

According to Military OneSource, the 2022 campaign titled “Breaking the Silence” encourages the military community to unite and speak up against domestic abuse. Not only does the campaign help the community recognize signs of domestic abuse, but it also shows how victims can get help. The campaign provides resources and information to help those in the military community recognize the signs of domestic abuse. It also lets victims know how they can get help.

Otisha Mickens, from West Columbia, South Carolina, spoke about the tragic loss of her daughters to domestic violence during the vigil. Her daughters Jazzmyne and Jaimey Green were killed in November 2021 by Jazzmyne’s abusive husband.

One of the things abusers do is to mess with your mind and “make you feel that they are the only person in the world who cares about you,” she said. “ … It’s never the truth. They tell you these things because they want complete control of you. That’s the goal of an abuser.”

Her daughter Jazzmyne’s husband Tyrone killed her and Jaimey who tried to protect her. He would later turn the gun on himself.

Tyrone shot Jaimey because she came to her sister’s aid. “That is what the abuser is usually mad at the most – the person protecting the abused,” Mickens said.

“There are women who are around you every day who work with you, go to church with you, who just live everyday lives and who are tore up at home – not just physically but mentally also,” Mickens said.

Hanson said if there was one message that someone could take from the vigil was to stand up and speak up against domestic violence.

“If you leave here today with one message, please speak up for yourself or bring power for someone that can’t speak up for themselves,” he said. “Whether you are a Soldier, civilian, Family member or retiree, ACS is here to help guide you through the support. They have advocates that are available 24/7 who can assist with reporting options, orders and protection.

After the candlelight vigil attendees went on a short walk waving purple flags to continue raising awareness of domestic violence.

(Editor’s note: The National Domestic Abuse Hotline phone number is (800) 799-7233.)