Vigil for beaten Burlington woman - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vigil for beaten Burlington woman

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Colleen Scarola Colleen Scarola

Candles were lit as the atmosphere at Burlington's Sustainability Academy transformed to one of sadness and support for Colleen Scarola.

Principal Brian Williams said, "I was very, very moved by what happened tonight and I feel that it was very timely, that people needed to come together."

Police say on Sunday the 36-year-old Burlington woman was found at home covered in blood after her husband, James Scarola, called 911, allegedly confessing to the beating. Now, the community is talking about the dangers of domestic violence.

"Whether we know it or not, our friends, our family members, co-workers, our community members are experiencing it," said Emily DeWitt, a community outreach coordinator for Women Helping Battered Women. "So really talking about it and bringing light to the situation and raising awareness because it is a huge problem."

Colleen's two children are in kindergarten and second grade at the Sustainability Academy. Advocates and school officials say talking to kids during difficult times of domestic abuse isn't easy, but necessary.

DeWitt said, "For kids, not saying anything, you know it might be worse for the younger kids maybe not knowing, but certainly we have a children's advocate on staff that can really help and answer any questions."

Williams said, "We want them to find an advocate, someone who can be there for them and hear what they're saying and try to provide the services that they need to feel safe."

About 100 community members turned out for Tuesday night's vigil. They wanted to let Colleen know she was not alone.

"It was a great show of community," Williams said. "It was a great show of compassion and empathy. It was very, I was very moved by what happened tonight."

James Scarola is currently being held without bail. He's charged with attempted second-degree murder and aggravated domestic assault. Colleen Scarola's family is doing its best to remain positive during this hard time.

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