Every year, millions of women fall victim to domestic violence and sadly there are still some women who continue to suffer in silence.
Saturday, Local 24’s Annette Peagler had the pleasure of being the Mistress of Ceremonies at the 9th Annual Taffi T. Crawford Domestic Violence Memorial Luncheon in Southaven. Crawford was gunned down by the hands of her estranged ex-boyfriend. Her life was remembered today as several survivors also told their stories.
It’s been 9 years, but Taffi Crawford’s family and friends say it feels like yesterday when she was taken away from them so brutally.
“It was very devastating for us, but to see how other people can be helped. Or how this can be prevented. This helps,” said Linder Davis, Taffi Crawford’s aunt.
Crawford was gunned down in the parking lot of Delta Medical Center by her estranged ex-boyfriend in 2010 while she was headed to work. To make sure her memory is never forgotten, some of her closest friends started the Taffi T. Crawford Foundation and every year they host a luncheon in her honor.
“She was a very outgoing person, anybody who knew Taffi was gravitated to her. She had that personality that everybody loved,” Davis explained.
“We’ll light candles for those who have passed in the previous year and each year those candles grow,” said Organizer Cheryl Saulsberry and Taffi Crawford’s friend.
Crawford’s son, who was only 8 when she passed, lit a candle for his mother. Survivors also told their stories.
“You know I didn’t want to be in that situation anymore and he tells me I’ll take care of this and he goes and gets a shot gun and he shoots me in the back, almost ended my life,” said one survivor.
This year’s keynote speaker was 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist and basketball standout, Ruthie Bolton. She too, walked away from an abusive relationship.
“Know your value, know your worth, because I’ve been there, I know what it feels like to not love yourself to feel like you deserve what you’re getting but to know your value and know your worth. Speak out and keep your voice,” Bolton said.
Every year, the foundation presents a $500 scholarship to Crawford’s son.