BLOOMINGTON — A Thursday evening vigil is planned to honor the victim of last week's fatal domestic violence attack and to raise awareness about the issue.
Aaron Stine, the uncle of Nicole Stimler Elbert, said the family wants to thank the community for the support shown since the 30-year-old woman was stabbed to death last week inside a Bloomington home, the alleged victim of an assault during an argument with her husband, Monroe Elbert.
He remains in McLean County jail after being charged with murder. He told police he stabbed her over an argument about material found on her cell phone.
Stine, the pastor at New Beginnings Church of God in Normal, said the family originally planned to hold the vigil outside the residence where his niece was killed, at 610 N. McLean St., but decided to move it to nearby Franklin Park.
“After sharing our plans with the police department, everyone felt that it might be best to move it to the park and it probably makes a lot more sense,” Stine said Monday.
“We don’t know how many people are going to show up and this way, we will be on public property and not intruding on anyone’s private property. We won’t be at the crime scene and it’s a bigger area. We will put some purple ribbons around some of the trees and have a nice ceremony to remember her.”
The plan for the 7 p.m. vigil is to have a prayer, hold a moment of silence to honor Nicole and light candles in her honor, Stine said. Everyone is asked to wear purple, her favorite color.
Weather should not be a factor, Stine said. After brutal cold the early part of the week, the temperature is expected to warm to 52 degrees by Thursday. Rain is possible in the evening.
Additionally, the vigil is designed to bring awareness about the need to end domestic violence.
“We feel Nicole still has a voice and we want to get the message out about domestic violence because we don’t want even one more person to go through a situation and have it end like this did,” he said. “If even one person’s life is saved, then we will know it means something.”
Stine said that he's contacted Neville House, a McLean County agency that assists victims of domestic violence.
“They said they are already seeing an upsurge in calls because of this incident and when we hear something like that, it tells us that Nicole’s voice is being heard to help others,” Stine said.
In an unrelated event planned for Friday, the Twin Cities One Billion Rising, a local group that has joined the global campaign against exploitation of women, will host a public event from noon to 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites across from Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington.
The free event will feature Zumba, yoga, community resources and free refreshments to raise awareness to end violence against women. No registration is required.
One in three women across the world will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, said Jeannie Higdon, family support services supervisor for Children’s Home & Aid in Bloomington.
Twin Cities One Billions Rising includes that agency, Mid Central Community Action, the OM Tribe and the YWCA.