Family Of Murdered Victims Want Others Who Have Faced Tragedy Or Domestic Violence To Join Their Support Social

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Arkansas River Valley Homicide Survivors United/POMC group is holding a social gathering Saturday (July 7) in Fort Smith.

The social gathering will be held at Central Christian Church at 400 N Waldron Road from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Refreshments will be provided and guests are encouraged to bring a photo of loved ones who they have lost or is in a domestic violence situation.

Arkansas River Valley Homicide Survivors is made up of a group of parents, friends and family members who have lost a loved one through domestic violence and homicide.

The groups said anyone is welcome to attend that needs support, someone to listen to them or someone who just wants to come and observe.

The group is the only of its kind in the River Valley area.

Group members have said that once your loved one or a friend is murdered it’s hard to find support as you go through the legal court process of convictions for the person of the crime. They say it’s also difficult to find support, even years after the loss.

The social meeting will be a laid back atmosphere free of judgement and will be kept confidential if you wish to share your story .

Women or men currently in a domestic violence situation are encouraged to attend.

Pearl Golonin Southerland lost her daughter Cassie Leigh Golonin in Dec. 2011. Cassie was a victim of domestic abuse and police believe it led to her murder. Her husband at the time, Brent Cotta was charged and convicted with her murder.

Pearl Southerland is one of the groups organizers and will attend the meeting.

“When my daughter Briana was murdered I couldn’t find anyone that could help me through the tragedy,” said Bethany Ault-Pyle. “I decided then that I would find others that have lost children and help them.”

Ault-Pyle’s daughter Briana was murdered in Sept. 2010. Two brothers were convicted of her murder and will spend life behind bars.

Ault-Pyle will also attend the meeting and has been leading this group for more than a year.

Bethany Ault-Pyle and her family spent years waiting on an Oklahoma court system to render justice. Besides her friends and family, she relied on the support from other parents whose children had been murdered.

“I don’t want anyone to feel like they are alone in their situation,” she said. “ I started this support group with other people that have been there and gone through a horrific tragedy. We want to help others that are going through the same.”

If you would like to find out more about the meeting, you can call or text the groups organizers at the numbers below.

Bethany Ault Pyle (479)561-3467
Margot Carney (479)420-5857
Pearl Southerland (479)218-2355

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