Seven Hampton Roads Cities to Host Vigil for Domestic Violence Victims

Day of Unity-Night of Remembrance Commences Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Virginia Beach: On October 1, 2018, the Hampton Roads Military & Civilian Family Violence Prevention Council will host a domestic violence candlelight vigil at 6:30 p.m. at Town Center Fountain Plaza in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Five Hampton Roads domestic violence shelters will join multi-city Victim-Witness programs, military advocates, and other service providers to present information on safety and resources available to victims and their families.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Since 1981, the first Monday of October has been recognized as the Day of Unity-Night of Remembrance, during which communities come together to memorialize those lost to domestic violence; to support families, friends, and survivors; to raise awareness of shelters and other resources; and to encourage people to actively work toward safer relationships and communities.

Virginia Beach domestic violence detective Lanus Geluso will deliver the keynote address for this year’s event which focuses on resilience. Following six years in the Navy, Geluso has spent 15 years with VBPD working primarily on sexual and physical abuse investigations. The program will also include the governor’s awareness month proclamation, a survivor testimony by empowerment speaker Megan Hall, a Silent Witness dedication for Virginia Beach victim Bellamy Gamboa, and Remember My Name—the reading of names of this year’s family and intimate partner homicide victims from Hampton Roads.

The attorney general’s annual report shows that an average of 144 Virginians lose their lives each year to family or intimate partner violence, accounting for one in three homicides. This year’s vigil is presented by the Hampton Roads Military & Civilian Family Violence Prevention Council. Organizations represented at the Day of Unity-Night of Remembrance are YWCA of South Hampton Roads, HER Shelter, Genieve Shelter, Transitions Family Violence Services, Samaritan House, Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, Hampton VA Medical Center, Commonwealth Attorney Offices of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, and Hampton.

The Council, established in 2006, is comprised of military and civilian entities including city and military leadership, family/human services, prevention and treatment programs, military and civilian advocates, police, commonwealth’s attorneys, court services units, shelters, and other community and military organizations working in support of victims’ families primarily in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, and outlying areas of South Hampton Roads.

The Council’s mission is to “commit to a continued collaboration with our military and civilian agencies across Hampton Roads to enhance the quality of life of persons affected by Domestic Violence; together we shall work diligently to provide treatment, education and services that will support the families and communities we serve.” 


Contact: Larissa Sutherland