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CASA holds vigil to fight domestic violence

October 13, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Amber Martz, 13, and Adrianna Campher, 8, stood at the corner of Washington and Potomac Streets Thursday night holding a banner reminding passing motorists that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month as a candlelight vigil was held to remember victims of domestic abuse.

Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused and the Washington County Family Violence Council held the vigil to remind people that domestic violence is at "epidemic proportions in Washington County," said Vicki Sadehvandi, director of CASA, Inc.

"No one should have to live in terror," she said.

While Washington county has not seen any deaths as a result of domestic violence this year, there have been deaths in past years, said Col. Doug Mullendore of the Washington County Sheriff's Department and Chair of the Family Violence Council.

Mullendore said it was important to break the cycle of violence and bring hope to victims through events like the evening's vigil.

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About 30 people gathered to light candles as a bagpiper performed "Amazing Grace."

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II called domestic violence a "cancer on our society."

Bruchey said he knew families who were the victim of violence. "It's heartbreaking," he said.

Sadehvandi said that Maryland has made tremendous strides in dealing with domestic violence. It is the first state to create a lethality assessment for law enforcement, which is a tool used to determine who is likely to be in grave danger due to domestic violence.

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