Victims killed in domestic violence cases were honored in a ceremony by the metro police department and the southern Nevada Domestic Violence Council. News 3's Sandra Gonzalez was at this ceremony and has this report.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and 17 victims who have died this past year were honored Monday. Each person was represented by a rose. 17 roses symbolized a person who died in a violent relationship in Clark County.
In the audience, was a father who says he will keep attending on behalf of his daughter Michele Carson. John Carson of Southern California has joined a group of parents of murdered children and now wants to educate and show support to other parents. He also wants to give encouragement to women in violent relationships to get out.
“Nobody has a right to hit a woman. Nobody has that right. That is not love. That is control and I wanted to spread that word,” Carson said.
While 17 deaths are still too many for the families left behind, police say the numbers compared to last year have actually improved. Last year’s deaths from domestic violence were over 30. Law enforcement says there are many factors to consider, such as departments working together to assist victims, and victims having courage.
“They're getting help earlier because they're either scared or coming to the realization that this relationship is dangerous even if still love the person as a result they are being handled better in the criminal justice system,” said Elynne Greene, Supervisor of Victims Services at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Meanwhile, Vicki Rojas, Michele Carson’s best friend, says she wishes she would have spoken out more. But in honor of her friend, she is speaking out now with advice for other women trapped in abusive relationships.
“I don't know what their reason may be to remain in it, whether they think they can't get anything better or no one else is going to love them because that person has made them feel that way; or they just simply love the person, like that type of relationship is not love. And they've manipulated your mind that you're not worthy or any other kind of love, and you are,” Rojas said.
Rojas and others at this ceremony are committed to decreasing the deaths, especially since she lost her best friend.
In the meantime, local law enforcement involved in domestic violence prevention and prosecution is working together to bring a Family Justice Center to Clark County to help families with all the resources needed under one roof.