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“Silent Witness” brings attention to domestic violence in Lancaster County

EAST HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. --- A display traveling through Lancaster County in October tells the stories of men, women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Vickie Davis describes her daughter, Mae, as "always joking around and had lots of friends."

She said Mae could be "quiet at times" but when she had to say something, "she certainly did say it."

"She was just a joy," said Davis.

A little more than 10 years ago, in March 2008, Mae Marie Davis, 17, was shot and killed by her boyfriend in a murder-suicide in Little Britain Township, Lancaster County.

"She'll never have children, she'll never get married and she'll never get to live her life. I want them to look at her and realize that because of domestic violence, my little girl is never going to get to do anything of those things," said Davis.

Mae Davis, along with 14 others, are being remembered in the 'Silent Witness' exhibit, which features life-sized figurines with descriptions of how domestic violence cost them their lives.

It's a problem that, officials say, still persists in Lancaster County.

The Lancaster County District Attorney`s Office says they will see nearly 800 domestic violence cases, both federal and misdemeanor, this year.

"There are hundreds or thousands more victims every day who are under threat or struggling with domestic violence and trying to figure out where to turn for help," said Christine Gilfillan, director of Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County.

Vickie says she continue to tell Mae's story with that hope that Mae and the others can bring attention to the fight against the "monster" in domestic violence.

"Hopefully, people will really understand this beast and come and stand with us and join with us to try to stop most of this, or some of it, anything would be a help," said Davis.

Resources can be found through the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County "Safety and Empowerment" program.

A 24-hour domestic violence hotline is also available at (717) 299-1249.

The "Silent Witness" exhibit can be seen at the following locations and dates:

OCTOBER 1-OCTOBER 5: Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Suburban Outpatient Pavilion (2100 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA, 17601)

OCTOBER 9-OCTOBER 12: Elizabethtown College High Library (1 Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA, 17022)

OCTOBER 15-OCTOBER 19: JP McCaskey High School (445 N Reservoir Street, Lancaster, PA, 17602)

OCTOBER 22-OCTOBER 26: McCaskey East (1051 Lehigh Ave, Lancaster, PA, 17602)

OCTOBER 29-NOVEMBER 2: Lancaster General Health Downtown Outpatient Pavilion (540 N Duke St, Lancaster, PA, 17602)