The family of Kristine Meza, who was murdered two years ago due to domestic violence, held their 2nd annual vigil on the anniversary of her death hoping to bring more awareness to the issue. The vigil was held at Oblate Missions Grotto where Kristine often took refuge during her abusive relationship.
"This is basically going to be our tradition, our place of tradition because she loved to come here and this is where she came to find peace and find prayer through everything she was going through when she was in the abusive relationship," said Jessica Meza, her sister. "It's always an emotional experience and we feel like it's our way of connecting with her spiritually."
The family held a similar vigil last year but this year they opened it up to the public, especially other victims and survivors of domestic violence.
"We hope for that if anything, just to get our message out to try to reach as many people as we can to give them some sense of strength and hope through what they're experiencing," said Meza.
"The more that we get everybody together and unite and make noise out of domestic violence so that it's no longer something that nobody talks about or nobody brings up," added Celene Isaac, Kristine's friend who now oversees the Kristine Meza Foundation which focuses on raising awareness of domestic violence along with helping those in need.
"She always wanted to help people and she'd be the first to help someone," said Isaac. "To see so many people be affected by the foundation that was created because of her passing, it gives us peace that there's still a part of her here working with us."
The foundation will hold the 2nd annual "Stop the silence, end the violence" 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, February 16 at 9 a.m. at South Side Lions Park, Pavilion 4. Proceeds from the run will benefit the Battered Women and Children's shelter. You can register here.