“Love doesn’t hurt”: Mother holds domestic violence awareness cookout in honor of late daughter

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On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States and 19 percent of domestic violence involves a weapon, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

That’s something one Columbus woman is trying to change. Mechelle Virgin lost her daughter Destinee Virgin to domestic violence in September of 2018. She was shot and killed by someone she was in a relationship with, at the red light on Macon Road at Rigdon Road.

She’s been working to raise awareness about the increasing teen domestic violence statistics. She held a cookout today to speak to the community about the issue.

“We have to get some answers about all of these cases that are happening day by day. I feel like as a community if we stand together we can get something done. I’m doing this in remembrance of my daughter Destinee.

Mechelle invited several organizations to speak at the cookout as well as other families who had lost loved ones to domestic violence. Hope Harbour and Marsy’s Law representatives were there along with other organizations.

“It’s positive. I’m glad people come out here to show support and trying to make a stop to a bad thing. As a collective group, we’ve just been trying to bring awareness to domestic violence and just keep her name alive and anybody else that got taken away from the same thing,” says Jakobe Murray, who was a friend of Destinee.

Destinee’s mother started her own organization called “I am Destinee’s Voice” in hopes to help educate people about this growing problem in our community called Teen Domestic Violence. She, along with another mother who lost her son, Tony Day, to domestic violence is raising money to display a billboard in Columbus with an inspirational quote.

The one thing she continues to remind people is that “Love Doesn’t Hurt”.

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