Hospital hosts memorial service for victims of family violence

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ALTON, IL (KTVI)-- They are powerful displays of how victims of domestic violence feel.  Visitors to Alton Memorial Hospital can see 2 rows of t-shirts decorated with messages from victims.  Most of the victims are women or children.

One shirt showed three faces frowning with the words, 'I am sad.'   Another shirt read,' He tortured my dog to get to me!!'  Another shirt had nothing but black scribbles on the front.

The Oasis Women`s Center put the shirts together. They were inspired by a national campaign known as The Clothesline Project.

The shirts greeted leaders from Madison County attending a memorial service for victims of domestic violence.   A bell was rung for each victim who died from family violence in Madison County, IL during the past year.

"Two children, and one man and two women have died since last October," said Tina Culp, Oasis Women`s Center.  She said t-shirt display is tough for some visitors to see.

"It`s very hard and I think it makes people realize the extent of the damage that is done to people through domestic violence," said Culp.

She hopes the display reminds victims about resources that are available.  She praised Madison County leaders for their coordinated efforts to fight domestic violence.

"At one point and time it was viewed that the prosecuting attorney`s office, the police department, the shelters, the hospitals were all discreet entities that had their own box of services," said Hon. Clarence Harrison, IL 3rd Judicial Circuit Court. "Today is really a testament to the efforts that have been made to instead bring that together as a community."

"I think we need to get the message out that domestic violence is a crime that people shouldn`t stay silent about," said Culp.  "There is nothing to be ashamed about."

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