FAIRFIELD — Stories of tragedy and triumph were shared Friday at the annual A Day of Remembrance in recognition of Domestic Violence Month.
The event took place in the heart of Fairfield on the grassy lot at Texas and Jefferson streets, across from the county Government Center.
Such gatherings often occur within four walls, said Claudia Humphrey of LIFT3 Support Group, a nonprofit organization that offers direct services to Solano County victims of domestic violence. LIFT3 is an acronym for Leading Individuals Forward Through Tough Times.
“We need to support the people, and this is an opportunity for them to see what we do,” Humphrey said.
One of the most touching stories came from a teen who was raped and stabbed in her home three years ago.
“Many times the hurts and scars we can’t see are the worst,” she told the crowd.
After the vicious attack, the young woman said she felt ashamed and didn’t want to tell anyone. Her attacker has been convicted of multiple charges and is slated for sentencing.
“I stand here with a voice,” she said. “No longer will I sit here in silence.”
Andrea Corral, 19, sang “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus and shared her story of tackling the mountains in her life. Two years ago, her mother, 34-year-old Victoria Corral, was shot and killed in the garage of her home.
In April, Sidney Wilson was sentenced to 40 years to life for Corral’s death. He was her longtime boyfriend and was the father of two of her children.
Andrea Corral grabbed her siblings and hid in a locked room until the police arrived on the night her mother was killed.
“We had to climb over the fence to escape,” she said. There was a standoff between Wilson and the police.
There had been previous domestic violence incidents between the pair that Andrea Corral witnessed.
“I try to stay positive,” she said. Andrea Corral is attending college and working.
Dating is something that can wait. She wants other young women to realize the signs of domestic violence early on.
“If you see a red flag, you have to leave,” she said. “If you stay, it gets harder and harder to leave. I am not going to make myself go through that pain.”
Family and friends of Victoria Corral have started the Vicky C. Hope Foundation.
“We needed some way to vent,” said Olga Saltiban, Victoria Corral’s mother. “We were so angry and upset.”
Saltiban has gone from reactive to proactive. The foundation has plans to help the perpetrators of domestic violence.
“If my son-in-law had someone there, someone to talk it, it would have been different,” she said. “I was usually able to talk him down.”
She hasn’t had contact with Wilson, preferring to pray for him.
“I’m not angry at him anymore,” she said. “I’m angry at the act.”
Rene Jenkins traveled from Sonoma to participate with his father, Vic Jenkins. His older sister, Robin Jenkins, was killed by her partner on Mother’s Day 2009. Vic Jenkins was on the phone with her when she died.
“This is a time for us to come together and realize we are not alone,” Rene Jenkins said. “Sometimes we forget.”
Hearing the stories from the survivors was inspiring and empowering, he said.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.