PUEBLO – Members of the Pueblo community gathered Saturday night to honor two different women, who died in the same week because of injuries they received from their partners.
One of the victims, 33-year-old Nicole Stephenson, died of her injuries on Wednesday. Police said the assault happened January 27. Stephenson succumbed from her injuries nearly three weeks later.
Stephenson is the second woman to die in a domestic violence-related homicide in Pueblo this week. Greythonia Jackson, 22, was found dead in an alley on Monday night.
The two deaths rocked the Pueblo community. So, two local women, both survivors of domestic violence, decided to put on a vigil in honor of the victims.
“For me this was a trigger and for my friend as well. That’s what started our thoughts and conversation,” Renee Gonzales, one of the organizers for the vigil and survivor of domestic violence said.
Dozens of people showed up at Bessemer Park, dressed in purple. The group stood somewhat in a circle and discussed the intensity of domestic violence situations that happen constantly in their community.
“Get it out of it as fast as you can because it wont stop,” Mary Ann Medina, an organizer for vigil and survivor of domestic violence said.
The women stated that domestic violence is such a dark subject and something that so many don’t talk about and have been affected by and for those who have survived and many who have not.
“20 years later, it still affects me. I see these girls that have passed away and realize that it could have happened to myself,” Gonzales said.
Several police officers from the Pueblo Police Department also showed up. They stated earlier to FOX21 that a shift doesn’t go by where they don’t receive a domestic call or domestic related arrest. They want to prevent these types of calls from happening.
Both Gonzales and Medina want other women in their community to know they aren’t alone.
“Make others aware its going on. Don’t be afraid he will get mad just make sure others know its going on so it can be halted before it gets too far,” Medina said.
Resources for victims of domestic violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit thehotline.org for free help 24 hours a day.
Violence Free Colorado: Visit violencefreecolorado.org to find resources by county in Colorado. The website also has other resources, including information on how to help a loved one who is being abused.
TESSA of Colorado Springs: Call the 24-Hour Safe Line at 719-633-3819, or visit tessacs.org.
YWCA of Pueblo: Call the 24-hour crisis hotline at 719-545-8195, or visit ywcapueblo.com