DELTA – Shine the Light: A Memory Walk in honor of Melinda Yager, who was killed by her husband last year, will be held Saturday, Jan. 7, at 4 p.m., beginning at 5th and Main Street in Delta and then progressing to the Bill Heddles Recreation Center, where refreshments and a presentation will be offered.
The walk is being organized by Trish and Jordan Belew, both survivors of domestic abuse who consider themselves fortunate to have received the help and services they needed to escape their situation. The Belews met Yager when their cases crossed briefly in the court system, and they were devastated by her death in January 2011.
Yager was found with her throat slashed near the home she once shared with her husband; there was a history of domestic violence calls, and the couple were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle over their 15-month-old daughter. Statistics show three people die every day at the hand of an intimate partner, according to the National Organization for Women. The Belews believe that by ending their silence and raising awareness for this issue they can help end the violence.
Delta’s Wal-Mart has donated $5,000 as part of this awareness campaign, and Jordan Belew is holding bake sales and selling domestic violence awareness bracelets at Wal-Mart. All money raised will benefit Tri-County Resources, where the Belews sought help and assistance from domestic violence.
“We are thankful to have the opportunity to Shine the Light and give a voice to those who don’t have one,” said Jordan Belew. “We look forward to the public’s support in helping us bring awareness to domestic violence and becoming part of the solution. If you tell someone you have cancer, heart disease or some other affliction you get instant sympathy. If you say to them you are affected by domestic violence they look at you and say…why don’t you just leave? It is never that easy. The abuser has control over you and that is their power, a weapon they use to keep you afraid and scared. That and the feelings of shame and embarrassment kept us under control.”
Hilltop’s Tri County Resources provides emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, advocacy, children’s services, transitional housing, and a 24-hour crisis line for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Delta, Montrose, and Ouray counties. Tri County Resources’ mission is to empower and educate individuals affected by domestic violence and sexual assault in a safe environment.
For more information about the walk, or to make a donation to Tri-County Resources, contact 970/874-6995.