Take Back the Night event held in Gonzales

Wade McIntyre
At top, Carolyn Donnaud recognizes a victim of domestic violence during the candle lighting ceremony before a crowd of about 150 people at the Take Back the Night Ceremony Monday at the Jambalaya Park amphitheater.

About 150 people attended a Take Back the Night ceremony at Jambalaya Park amphitheater in Gonzales Monday night.

The annual event was billed as a night to remember domestic violence victims.

The problem of domestic abuse is found in all communities regardless of race, income or geography and increases following national disasters, said Kim Brown, Ascension Parish Outreach Coordinator for the Battered Women’s Program Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center.

International Take Back the Night events are conducted, as well as the observances in the United States.

Guest speaker Angelle Reise, a domestic abuse survivor who moved to Ascension Parish after Hurricane Katrina, related a terrible story of abuse at the hands of a husband who she said beat, starved and raped her repeatedly after she had a surgery procedure.

The Dutchtown High School Band also performed during the ceremony.

The evening concluded with a candle lighting ceremony after different speakers acknowledged victims who have been killed by domestic violence in the area.

At left, women in the audience listen intently during the Take Back the Night ceremony for domestic violence victims in Gonzales Monday night.