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You’re invited to Bingham County Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil

Balloons fly away during the Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil in Aberdeen in 2019. | Courtesy Bingham Crisis Center
BLACKFOOT — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and one local organization plans to recognize it by holding a free event.
The Bingham Crisis Center in Blackfoot is a nonprofit that helps people affected by violence, abuse and trauma. Most years, the organization holds a Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil in Blackfoot, Aberdeen and Shelley. Due to COVID-19, the event will only take place in Blackfoot this year.
“(Domestic violence) is in our community. It’s in Idaho. It’s in Bingham County,” Bingham Crisis Center Executive Director Scott Smith said. “I’ve been with the organization three years now, and before I took the position, I didn’t realize myself how much of an impact there is in our community with it.”
Local authorities such as the sheriff, chief of police and a county commissioner will speak about domestic violence during the vigil. Mayor Marc Carroll will give a mayoral proclamation.
At the end of the program, those in attendance will release black, purple and white balloons. The colors represent how many deaths happened last year due to domestic violence throughout Idaho, how many adults — men and women — the center sheltered last year, and how many children the center took in as well.
“Using these vigils and using our community outreach, we’re hoping to be able to increase the understanding and knowledge that this is a problem in our area, and there’s stuff that we can do about it,” Smith said.
Smith mentioned that about 60 people were at the Blackfoot event last year. He isn’t sure what to expect this year with the pandemic, but he wants community members to know that the event will be held outside, and social distancing will be possible.
The crisis center plans to live stream the vigil on its Facebook page as a way for more people to participate if they aren’t there in person.
“Hopefully, those that don’t feel comfortable or are unable to make it for one reason or another, we’re hoping that they’ll be able to watch it live or watch it later, and then share it with all of their friends too,” Smith said.
The vigil takes place Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. at Jensen’s Grove Shelter in Blackfoot, next to the skate park.
For more info on the center and to watch the live stream, click here.

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