Across the United States, February is recognized as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. To bring local focus to this national event, and demonstrate the impact that teen dating abuse has on our community, Laura’s House, will host its Annual Candlelight Vigil in honor of all teens whose lives have been taken as a result of teen dating abuse. The event will take place on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Laura’s House Resale Store, located at 23635 El Toro Road, Suite F in Lake Forest.
Now in its third year, the Annual Candlelight Vigil will honor Jacque Villagomez, a graduate of El Toro High School in Lake Forest, who died at the hands of her abuser in September 2008.
The Candlelight Vigil is part of the Laura’s House Healthy Emotions and Attitudes in Relationships for Teens (H.E.A.R.T.) program. This year, more than 150 attendees are expected to gather for an evening of art, music and tributes remembering Villagomez and all victims of teen dating abuse. Guest speakers will include Deputy Rebecca Reger from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and Claudia Bremser from Verizon Wireless, who will speak about the importance of educating teens on dating abuse, and how their respective organizations are supporting Laura’s House in this effort. Several survivors of teen dating abuse will also share their testimony.