Gaston County Sheriff’s Office expands campaign to promote domestic violence awareness

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Gaston County Sheriff’s Office is once again illuminated with a purple hue during October evenings. The agency does this each year to promote domestic violence awareness.

This year, the lobby of the office is home to a display honoring those who have died as a result of domestic violence in Gaston County. 42 different silhouettes have been taped to the wall of the lobby. Each one represents a life lost to domestic violence in the last 18 years.

Rett Waggoner, a domestic violence advocate with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, said the youngest of the victims was just two years old. She said the oldest victim was 80, and the most recent victim, 27-year-old Whitney Petway, just died in June of this year.

Petway was allegedly shot and killed by her boyfriend, Zkevis Williams. Williams is currently in the Gaston County Jail facing a murder charge.

“We need to be more talkative about the problem,” Waggoner told WBTV in an interview Thursday night. “We need to be more aware of what the resources are that are available in the county and we need to figure out how we’re gonna get it out to the public to know where any resources are so that they can get help.”