Speaking at a rally to raise awareness about domestic violence Thursday evening, the sister of a deadly shooting victim advocated for people to remember her sibling’s story.
Barbara Kenney, the sister of Talina Henderson, spoke at Thursday’s even titled “Rise Up: A Survivor’s Tribute” outside the Fayette County courthouses. Henderson was shot and killed by her husband, Stephon Henderson, last November at their home on Bay Colony Lane, adjacent to Masterson Station Park. Stephon Henderson was later sentenced to 26 years in prison for the crime.
Kenney said her sister did her best to stop the violence in her relationship and that she had plans for her future, which included going back to school.
“She loved her family, loved her children, her friends. Her story must be told,” Kenney said. “It must remain in conscious memory so her children won’t cry her tears or follow her tortured legacy.”
Representatives for nearly 30 resources and community partners were in attendance to provide services to domestic violence victims. Victims and leaders also spoke during the event. While speaking to the crowd, Kenney also raised concerns about the fact Talina Henderson had filed for an emergency protection order three days before her murder — which was denied by a judge.
When filing for a protective order, Henderson alleged her husband was armed and dangerous, and verbally and emotionally abusive. She claimed there were weapons in her home. The petition for an emergency protection order was not issued by Family Court Judge Traci Brislin because she determined there was “no imminent threat” at the time the petition was filed. The issue was instead given a court date for further discussion and a ruling.
“Even though she told them there were weapons in the house, still got denied,” Kenney said. “The judge ordered a court date instead but she did not live to tell her story.”
Talina Henderson was shot three times in the back, Kenney said.
The purpose of Thursday’s event was to raise awareness for domestic violence prevention and intervention resources for those who need them.
“It’s time to rise up and make words like ‘victim’ and ‘survivor’ a thing of the past,” Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers said.
More than 1,700 people in Lexington have filed for protective orders as a result of domestic violence this year, according to Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt. But she believes there’s more victims out there who haven’t come forward.
“If you are one of those people, if you know someone, please tell them they do not stand alone. We are here for them,” Witt said.
Witt, Weathers and other leaders called for community members to report domestic violence incidents whenever they see them occur.
“It’s time to stop sitting around and just talking. It’s time to act,” Weathers said. “The theme for this vigil is all about action. We need to rise up.”
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.