Vigil Remembers Victims Of Domestic Violence

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More than 50 Payson residents turned out Thursday night at Payson Town Hall to show their solidarity and support against domestic violence.

All who made the walk from Payson Town Hall to the First Southern Baptist Church quietly held lit candles, and many held signs denouncing domestic violence.

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More than 50 people joined hands and prayed before they walked from the Payson Town Hall to First Southern Baptist Church as part of an annual candlelight vigil to remember victims of domestic violence. See Wednesday, Oct. 18, edition of The Rim Review to see more pictures of vigil.

One sign read: "Women are dying to get out of abusive relationships."

Crystal Pelto said the goal was to support victims who have experienced domestic violence in their lives.

"I have been there myself," she said, explaining she was assaulted many times by her former husband. "It means a lot to have the support of the town -- the men and the women."

Krista Beery, Pelto's sister, said she came out to support the women who have been abused.

She said she saw her sister's husband hit her on numerous occasions.

"It always made me mad to see my sister's husband hit her," she said. "There is more to life than being beaten by your husband."

Christina Kreutzer, who volunteers at the Time Out Shelter, said she came out to show her support to the shelter as she has seen many women who have been abused.

Gerry Bailey, executive director of the Time Out Shelter, said the vigil makes a strong public statement that domestic violence must stop.

"It's a tribute to women who have died from domestic violence and to celebrate the survivors," she said.

Bailey said the turnout for the vigil made it clear that the community is against domestic violence and wants it to stop.

There were a few men who attended the vigil and made the walk who said domestic violence can happen to men from their wives or girlfriends.

"There are men who are victims as well," said Robert Baird. "To me it is a serious problem and it needs to be brought out to the public to do what they can to take care of the problem."

Chuck Bailey said he attended the vigil and walk to honor all of the women who have died as a result of domestic violence.

"I am hoping people will realize what a problem it is and how the community (is against it)," he said.

One man displayed a sign that read: "Feet are not for kicking. They are for walking beside the people you love."

Councilor Su Connell said she came out to support a cause that is dear to her heart, adding she is on the Time Out Shelter board of directors.

Connell said she has a friend who was beaten repeatedly, and it took her three years to get the courage to break the strings of domestic violence.

Connell said her friend was offered support and opportunities that she never knew existed.

Her friend became the most wonderful and dynamic person and found a wonderful man who treated her like she should have been treated in her previous relationship.

"If I can make a little difference in the town I love that is (what I need to do)," she said, while holding a sign that read: "Contributing to Time Out Shelter puts a light into darkness of domestic violence."

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