First Lady Dianne Bentley Holds Candlelight Vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Dianne Bentley

Dianne Bentley

MONTGOMERY—First Lady Dianne Bentley on Wednesday held her second-annual Candlelight Vigil to promote the importance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and highlight the organizations across the state that give victims the strength to leave unhealthy relationships.

“As Alabama’s First Lady I am determined to use my position as a voice for those who are too afraid to speak up because of domestic violence,” Mrs. Bentley said.  “Domestic violence is a pressing issue that impacts every community.  Since 2011, I have supported this cause, and will continue to highlight the resources available for victims and their children.”

According to the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV), more than 20,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in 2013, and nationwide one in three women are victims of domestic violence.

“On behalf of ACADV and the shelter directors, we are thrilled to have the First Lady’s support,” Susan Shipman, ACADV Board Chairman. “She has worked with us to identify the needs of survivors and raise awareness about domestic violence.  ACADV applauds Mrs. Bentley’s leadership and looks forward to partnering with her in the future.”

During the program, Governor Bentley presented a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“Domestic Violence is a crisis that impacts families and neighborhoods,” Governor Bentley said. “It does not discriminate on race, wealth or status.  I am honored that Dianne has chosen to help victims know about the resources available to end the cycle of abuse. I appreciate the members of my Administration who have helped bring attention to this important issue.”15412619391_70b6232750_m

Mrs. Bentley also honored those we have lost to domestic abuse, and encouraged current victims that there is hope and a way out in Alabama.

Verizon and the Alabama Department of Corrections partnered with the First Lady through a program called HopeLine®.  HopeLine is Verizon’s national cell phone recycling and re-use program. All proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence via cash grants to domestic violence counseling and support agencies. More than 12,000 phones have been donated since this program started in 2012.

“We are proud to partner with First Lady Dianne Bentley to continue to raise awareness about domestic violence and bring it out from the shadows and veils of secrecy,” Vice President of External Affairs, Verizon Julie Smith said. “We are committed to working in Alabama to serve victims and survivors as well as support programs to help change behaviors and attitudes and prevent violence before it ever starts.”

In Alabama, there are resources available to give victims and their children a life free from abuse.  For more information contact the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s helpline at 1-800-650-6522 they will route victims to the nearest shelter.


A copy of Governor Bentley’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamation can be found here.


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