LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An annual event is honoring some Kentuckiana victims lost to domestic violence-related incidents.

What You Need To Know

  • There were 22 victims of domestic violence honored at this year's annual "Speak Their Name" event

  • The Center for Women and Families, along with Louisville Metro Office for Women, held the event in downtown Louisville

  • Cortney Jones attended the event to honor her 7-week old daughter Del'Luna who was killed as a result of domestic violence

  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

A large crowd filled with healers, supporters and survivors gathered in downtown Louisville in honor of domestic abuse victims. Cortney Jones was there as well.

"As young as she was, she had so much life in her, you know, just always either being goofy, making faces," explained Jones.

The 23-year-old is the mother of 7-week-old Del’Luna banks. In June of 2021, her daughter was killed as a result of domestic violence.

"There is just this life that you brought into this world that you can’t get back and it takes a lot from you. And for the situation to be by her father makes it beyond words," said Jones.

She said her baby was happy and healthy one minute, then she later came home following a doctor's appointment and Del’Luna was unconscious and unresponsive.

"I just hear ambulances in the background and I hear she’s not breathing, she’s not breathing, we’re trying to bring her back, she’s not breathing," said Jones.

According to Jones, the girl’s father, Del’Shawn Banks, confessed to killing her daughter. She said the 23-year-old turned himself over to the police.

"He had shaken her and threw her to the ground, causing her to have head trauma and excessive bleeding to her brain," said Jones.

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Center For Women and Families and Louisville Metro Office for Women honored survivors and lives lost through its annual "Speak Their Name" memorial event.

Twenty-two chairs were placed for the ceremony at Jefferson Square Park. Twenty-one victims from Jefferson County and one from southern Indiana who died as a result of domestic violence and intimate partner violence were spoken out loud. That list includes 12 women and 10 men.

Elizabeth Wessels-Martin, president and CEO at The Center For Women and Families, told Spectrum News 1 the event is, "to honor them, to remember them, to bring support to the families, but, also bring awareness to this community."

Wessels-Martin said the event is a call to action to prevent future domestic violence incidents in the community.

"Say something, do something, do it without judgment and do it with compassion, but don’t turn your head, don’t close the door and think it's somebody else’s problem," she said.

It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for Jones and her family as she fights for justice for baby Del’Luna.

"When you hear there’s a chance you’re going to have to bury your child, you go along with them, you honestly do," added Jones.

In the meantime, Jones said that no one should suffer in silence and encourages victims to come forward.

"Let people know what’s going on. If you’re not okay let people know, reach out," said Jones.