Silent Witness display in Lancaster portrays domestic violence victims

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Students at the York Technology Institute of Lancaster, are advocating domestic violence awareness every time they walk down a heavily traveled hallway.

They have no voice, but their stories are being heard.

YTI student, Michelle Thomas says, “She disappeared two weeks after her child and her remains were found six months later.”

When Thomas walked by this display, Cortney’s tragic death resurfaced.

“She was close friends with my brother, she was well-liked, a sweetheart, I knew she liked dancing, my last memory of her was her dancing in the talent show with my cousin,” says Thomas.

Thomas when to Donegal High School with Cortney.

Thomas says, “It gave me the chills, it kind of brought her story back to life and it’s still shocking to this day.”

Cortney, along with around 15 red figures make up the “Silent Witness” display.  Women, men, children and animals all portray victims of Domestic Violence.

YTI student, Andrew Burkholder says, “It’s different, because usually you think when Domestic Violence is a male harassing a female, but it happens to anyone, a kid abusing a mother.”

According to Domestic Violence Services, 1700 people were victims of the abuse last  year in Lancaster County…an ongoing issue with three possible outcomes.

Barbara Allen is a representative with the Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County.  She says, “The accuser can stop accusing, the victim can leave, or someone is going to die.”

For the adults, children and in some cases, friends, spreading awareness keeps their memories alive while advocating against the issue.

Thomas says, “People remember her as bright and beautiful, she loved shopping, spending time with friends and dancing.”

For more information, contact the Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County.

1 Comment


    This is a tragic reminder of how serious the situation is in our country. I think that there are a lot of people that are silent witnesses that know something is going on but don't say anything because it is not their business. If we all take a little more active role in the situation we could save some lives. –

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