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Family & friends memorialize 1st anniversary of 21-year-old Sakyra Young's death

Sakyra Young balloon memorial
Posted at 9:57 AM, Aug 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 15:14:42-04

WACO, Texas — Saturday marked one year since 21-year-old Sakyra Young lost her life to alleged domestic violence.

Family and friends gathered in Cameron Park to celebrate her life with a balloon release.

Young was one of the 10 million people estimated to be affected by domestic violence every year.

"It still feels the same, it still feels like it was yesterday when it happened," said Takiera Young, her younger sister. "It doesn't even seem like it's been a year honestly,"

Her family, however, wanted Saturday's event to be one to honor Young.

Young's mother, Latoya Wells, said she wants her daughter's story to serve as a teaching moment for others.

Wells told 25 News she doesn't want any other parent to feel the way she did as her daughter fell victim to alleged domestic violence.

"When it happened, it was just like, 'Oh my gosh,' you know what I mean? It woke a whole lot of people up, like, 'I can't really believe that happened,' Wells said.

An estimated one in four women and one in nine men are victims of domestic violence. Wells said she often hears from those struggling with violence and hopes to use her experience to help them.

Wells mentioned the balloons at Saturday's event were meant as a way to send a message to her daughter.

"We just looked at it as releasing balloons and going up to Heaven to her," Wells said. "She's not physically here, but that's just the we look at it."

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are looking for safety or support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.