Elon, North Carolina|Thursday, January 26, 2017
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Her story: wishing for an end to domestic violence 

Prizes, raffles, food and music marked a fundraiser known as the “Purple Ribbon Gala” at the Alamance County Country Club Saturday night.  The community gathered to support Family Abuse Services of Alamance County, an organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence.
“It’s one of those things that people in the community don’t like to talk about,” said Molly Whitlatch, Board President of Family Abuse Services of Alamance County.  “But it’s our neighbors that are going through these situations.”
Jill Wiggins attended the event because of her personal experience with the issue.
“It is so desperately needed,” Wiggins said when asked how important services are like Family Abuse Services to the community.  Wiggins said, when she was 19, her mother decided to end the relationship with her step-father.
“Instead of letting her go,” Wiggins said, “he [the stepfather] decided to not have her be with anyone else, so he took a gun and killed her.”
Wiggins said she wishes programs like crisis response, shelter and court assistance, which are all currently offered by Family Abuse Services, were available to her family 38 years ago when she lost her mother.
“I miss her every day,” Wiggins said. “I’d give a million dollars to have her back one day.”
Wiggins said she encourages those suffering from abuse to seek the help available today and frequently offers advice to families.
“I’ll see a mother and a daughter,” Wiggins said, “and I’m not jealous, but I do envy them.  Sometimes I’ll tell the young girl, ‘Please appreciate your mom.  Even though they’re not the perfect person, you’ve got to appreciate them every day’.”
About the author: Brian Mezerski

Brian Mezerski is a junior media arts & entertainment major and Communications Fellow. He currently serves as Production Manager for Elon Local News and has served previously as anchor and reporter. He loves student media and has worked with ELN, WSOE 89.3fm and Elon Student Television, among others. He also attended the Elon in LA summer program and [email protected] experience. He most recently interned with FremantleMedia North America, one of the world’s largest television production companies.