Vigil held to raise awareness of domestic violence

Cris Ritchie — Editor

October 30, 2013

HAZARD—Each year the LKLP Safe House in Perry County hosts a program designed to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence. This year’s held even more significance to those attending, who used the moment to remember loved ones lost earlier this year in one of the worst instances of domestic violence in Perry County’s history.

Domestic violence is prevalent through the United States, where according to statistics someone dies every seven minutes as a result. That is why it is important to raise awareness of the issue, said Lois Valentine, director of the LKLP Safe House, so that future incidents can be prevented.

“We hope that the community will be aware and go away with new determination to stand up against domestic violence,” Valentine continued. “Ultimately, that is our goal, to prevent domestic violence.”

The issue was brought to the fore in January when Caitlin Cornett was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College. Also killed in the incident was Caitlin’s uncle, Jackie, and 12-year-old cousin, Taylor. Valentine said a candlelight vigil held Tuesday at HCTC was geared not only to raise awareness, but also to remember those the community lost as a result of domestic violence.

“This year it seemed that it was most appropriate … to commemorate those that we lost right here on this campus back in January,” she said. “And then, I hope that it will be some condolence and comfort to the family as well.”

Jackie Cornett, Sr. was among the attendees of Tuesday’s vigil, and encouraged everyone to be quick to forgive and seek spiritual comfort in much the same way he did on the night his son was murdered.

“When I heard that he was killed that night, I went in the room where I was at and saw the face of God,” he said. “I come out of there, I’d already forgiven.”

Cornett said he believes God used that incident to bring his children home, and encouraged others to begin attending church and find their own path to salvation. He said he was happy with Tuesday’s turnout, and to know that so many people continue to support his family.

“It’s real good, and glad to hear it,” he said of the support. “I just hope we can say something to this younger generation that life is real, and maybe wake some of them up.”