Raising awareness

The Night of Hope will honor victims and survivors of domestic violence.

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Posted September 6, 2022 | By Susan Smiley-Height

The Family Violence Prevention Workgroup of the Marion County Children’s Alliance (MCCA) actively works to raise awareness about domestic violence and to help families navigate the challenges associated with it.

The agency has provided help through emergency shelter, gas cards, transportation, food, clothing, automobile repairs, utilities and other necessities to help facilitate a safe environment for hundreds of families.

On Sept. 29, MCCA and the taskforce will host its annual Night of Hope: Honoring the Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence.

The event will take place at the College of Central Florida, at 3001 SW College Road, Ocala. It will include dinner, music, giveaways, survivor testimonies and vendors. Tickets are $35 per person. Free childcare is available for children ages 2 and older.

The keynote speaker is Tahiera Monique Brown. She is a survivor, professional speaker, writer and president/CEO of Darkness to Light Films. The title of her speech is “Survivors Rise: Beauty From Ashes.”

“I’m just a tiny speck of sand caught up in a gigantic sand storm crying out over the wind to be a voice for the voiceless,” Brown said. “I’ve been called a nobody … but this nobody, like so many others, stood against the bellowing wind and faced torture, abuse, bullying, domestic violence and, in my case, being held hostage for two years. I came through a coma with amnesia and God created within me a voice to shout out for change in a world that was no longer recognizable to me. The few words of power spoken to me when I was coming out of the coma were: “Young lady! You’re a SURVIVOR!”

Monica Bryant, coordinator of the Family Violence Prevention Workgroup, said the event is all about providing hope and support to victims and survivors of domestic violence.

“We know it’s not easy for someone to leave an abusive relationship, especially when they still love the person, but a relationship should not cost anyone their life,” she said. “If they know that there are resources and services available to help them and people who support them, it can make taking that first step a little easier. I hope our community will come out and support them.”

For tickets, go to https://2022noh.eventbrite.com or stop by the MCCA office at 3482 NW 10th St., Ocala. To reserve a spot for childcare the night of the event, call (352) 438-5993.