COMMEMORATING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Each October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM),
DVSN honors all Massachusetts residents whose lives were lost
to domestic violence over the past year.
From October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022, there were twenty-four deaths in MA.
Hear their stories as we light a virtual candle in memory of each individual.
The video below is a recording of the live virtual event held on October 27, 2022.
“Expanding the Light in the Darkness”
Introducing Stacy’s Song “Cherish Her Light”
Composed & Performed by Jodi Blankstein & Adam Dehner
This is DVSN’s 21st Candlelight Vigil that we hope helps to build awareness as we honor the 24 lives brutally lost to domestic violence in Massachusetts in the last 12 months.
Their stories show how the domestic terror they faced was complex, sinister, pervasive, and unrelenting. Each story is complex. Each life lost is tragic and preventable. Murder and suicide are frequently the manner in which these individuals were killed. Often it happens when the victim decides to leave, tries to leave, or has left – when the abusive partner is losing control and escalates to lethal means.
While the stories are dark and despairing, we also want to honor the ways in which these individuals showed strength and perseverance in trying to change their lives, in struggling to protect loved ones, in trying to do everything right for their children and others they loved. Even though they lost those battles, with great determination, they took the risk…they tried…they made the effort. Let’s not let their tragic outcomes obscure the fact that many of these individuals were truly heroic in their struggle to be free.
These 24 stories will be read by representatives from our advocates, our board, and our police and community partners – a wide array of colleagues who stand with us to witness and honor these lives lost.
We also shine a light on a grueling story of loss, enormous persistence against all odds, and ultimate triumph – a story…that truly expands the light in the darkness.
In 2015, Stacy Malman Feldman was murdered by her husband, who staged the homicide to look like an accident in the shower. Stacy’s death was officially declared “undetermined”. Stacy’s sister, Susan Altman, a local community member and a friend to DVSN, along with the detective on the case, was pretty sure the husband had murdered her sister Stacy.
They spent 6 years not letting the case go cold. With the help of a forensic expert who skillfully refuted the “undetermined” designation and two women who had been manipulated and abused by Stacy’s husband, Susan and the detective prevailed in getting the husband charged with murder. It took another year for the case to finally be tried. In February 2022, the husband was convicted and sentenced to life without parole.
In honor of their enormous effort and extraordinary success, we are premiering “Stacy’s Song: Cherish Her Light” as part of an exquisite montage to Stacy, to the 24 individuals we commemorate this year, to the additional 28 lives lost the past two years, and to all those who have suffered grievously at the hands of an abuser.
Please visit our October 2022 Blog Post to read more about Stacy’s Story and a growing discovery of many domestic violence murders staged as accidents or suicides. There is also a link in the BLOG to the DATELINE episode about Stacy’s Story and Susan’s triumphant search for justice for Stacy.