HONOLULU (KHNL) - A silent march in honor of a Big Island boy who, police say, was killed by his own father took place in Downtown Honolulu Tuesday. The child, who was stabbed in the neck, is credited with saving his mother's life.
Participants met in front of the State Capitol before taking off on their march. The event honored 14-year-old Tyran Vesperas-Saniatan. The gathering included domestic violence survivors.
Sitting on a bench, protected by a large tree, Dara Carlin says her life wasn't always this peaceful.
"He only hit me once, and I figured if I did everything right, then it wouldn't happen again," she said. "You just have to follow the rules and do what you can to almost be perfect."
She says she finally left her abusive relationship seven years ago.
With a heavy heart, she gets ready to participate in a silent march in honor of a boy who was stabbed to death at a home in the Ainaloa Subdivision June 11th.
"When we had our last march for Marie Mundon last month, I knew it's only a matter of time before the next person is hurt or killed," Carlin said.
Thirty-eight-year-old Tyrone Vesperas is accused of murdering his son and attempting to kill the boy's mother.
"Shock and, you know, immediate sadness," Carlin said.
Investigators believe 14-year-old Tyran Vesperas-Saniatan was trying to protect his pregnant mom, who was being stabbed in the abdomen. Her fetus didn't survive.
"The child got caught in the cross fire is absolutely tragic," Carlin said. "But it's not beyond what children of domestic violence do. Often times, they will get in between the mother and the father."
Carlin says there are 45,000 reported survivors of domestic violence across the state.
Once afraid to talk about her experiences, she now dons purple -- the color for domestic violence awareness -- and spreads her message.
"If I hold my tongue and if I don't come out publicly and start speaking about this, we won't save the next woman. We won't save the next child," she said.