RED BLUFF, Calif. - Clarification: Within the video attached to this article, we stated that Tess, a local survivor of domestic violence, had been abused for 18 years. We'd like to clarify that Tess said the abuse she experienced during her childhood and into adulthood was inflicted on her by different people.
In every day life, candles and stones are simple objects.
However, during the month of October, Domestic Violence Abuse Awareness month, they take on new meaning, symbolizing those who have suffered, survived and lost their lives to domestic violence.
Alternatives to Violence, based in Red Bluff, held its annual candlelight walk and ceremony to honor those affected by domestic violence.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 10 million people a year are physically abused by an intimate partner.
"The people who have been victimized by domestic violence and domestic abuse. They are not doormats, they are people who are true survivors," Alternatives to Violence Executive Director, Jeanne Spurr, said
This year's walk specifically focused on youth. The evening drew a large crowd of children and adolescents and featured musical pieces performed by Red Bluff High School students.
The evening's program also featured keynote speaker and local survivor, Tess.
Since she was 5 years old, Tess said she was abused by different people.
During her speech, she asked the audience to place their hands over their hearts and feel their heartbeats.
"It means your alive," she said. "It means you have a choice to stand up and make a change in this world."
During the walk through downtown Red Bluff, attendees carried a stone in one hand and a candle in the other. Many of them sported purple ribbons, shoes and other attire, the color of domestic violence.
"I think of it as a color that represents royalty," Spurr said.
"It can stop with us. You just got to stand up. You can make your mark, you can make your change in this world," Tess said.
If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence, you can call the alternatives to violence hotline at (530) 528 -0226 or click here.