Flowers on the Lake for domestic violence - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Community tosses flowers on the lake for domestic violence

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Rita Dougan speaking at Tuesday's gathering. Rita Dougan speaking at Tuesday's gathering.
GIBSON CO., IN (WFIE) -

Her daughter was gunned down outside a Princeton restaurant, now, it's a mother's mission to save other victims of domestic violence. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and on Tuesday night, the mother of Jessica Tice, who was killed in May, says she's pleading for change.

In a park not far from her Princeton home, Rita Dougan and others tossed flowers into Lafayette Lake to remember loved ones killed by domestic violence.

"I'm very mad. I'm very hurt. I'm raising her boys. I watched her pain daily. So yes, I feel a lot of things, but I feel the Lord is with me every step of the way," Dougan said.

Dougan was there that May afternoon when prosecutors say Jason Perry gunned down Tice outside Los Aztecas restaurant. An agonizing memory now driving Rita to help other innocent victims.

"Like I said, I'll never get my daughter back, but if I can save one or two people. Nobody is safe when there is somebody out there who is determined to hurt somebody else," Dougan said.

That's why Dougan is asking for tougher laws and higher bail amounts to keep abusers in jail and away from their victims.

59 women were killed in Indiana last year, four of those in Gibson County. 

"As a community we can change that. We can change the outcome," said Brandi Watson with the Albion Fellows Bacon Center.

On Tuesday night, petals on the water signify hope for an end to such needless loss.

"We love her and miss her, always will but we carry her in our heart.  She'll always be with me.  She'll always be a part of me," Dougan said. 

The event was by the Gibson County Domestic and Sexual Assault Task Force and a collaboration of a number of agencies.

For more information about the organization, click here.

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