Marsy’s Law Joins Victims and Advocates at Wreath of Hope Ceremony
The Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma team was honored to attend the Wreath of Hope ceremony outside of the Oklahoma State Capitol today in solidarity with all of those who have been impacted by domestic violence. The event was organized by the YWCA and attended by over 100 victims of domestic violence, family members, law enforcement professionals, advocates, and social workers.
The event was both a somber recognition of the toll that domestic violence has taken on the state as well as an optimistic look towards a better future. Eighty-two flags were placed at the event to memorialize the 82 victims killed by domestic violence last year in Oklahoma. At the same time, many of the speakers focused their remarks on improvements being made for victims as well as a recent reduction in domestic violence (Oklahoma was once ranked the #11 state for frequency of domestic violence incidents; that ranking has fallen to 20).
U.S. Congresswoman Kendra Horn, who is a vocal supporter of the Violence Against Woman Act being considered in Congress, introduced her personal friend and a survivor of domestic violence, Nicole P. In 2004, Nicole was in an abusive relationship and her husband threatened her with a gun. “I knew I wasn’t going to get our alive,” she told the crowd. Thankfully, she did, with a lot of help. Fearing for the safety of herself and her kids, Nicole called the statewide hotline number with the encouragement of her coworkers. They connected her with a resource center in Norman and eventually a YWCA shelter, which assisted her with clothing and finding a safe and permanent residence. The Oklahoma City Police also helped her put together a victim protection order. Nicole said she is grateful for the many resources and the caring people who are available to help victims of domestic violence.
The ceremony ended with dozens of attendees placing roses within the Wreath of Hope: a way to remember victims, and a reminder that we must all work towards a better future.
If you or a loved one are in an abusive relationship, please call the statewide hotline number: (1-800-522-SAFE)! Today’s event was a great reminder that there are many resources for those in need of assistance and help is just a phone call away.
1: The YWCA Oklahoma City planted 82 flags to commemorate the 82 victims killed by domestic abuse in the state last year. There have been over 630 domestic abuse deaths in Oklahoma since 2011.
2: Marsy's Law for Oklahoma Executive Director Kim Moyer with U.S. Representative Kendra Horn.
3-4: AG Hunter, Chief Gourley, and dozens of advocates and service providers place roses on the Wreath of Hope.