Victims and supporters gathered at Municipal Park today to talk about domestic violence. Cassandra Rodgers wasn’t a victim herself, but her life has certainly been touched by it.
“Cindy was my second cousin, her mother was my first cousin. So her mother was killed when I was 16 by domestic violence. And 32 years later, my aunt had to bury her. So she had to bury a daughter and a granddaughter,” says Rodgers.
The event today, called Save Our Sisters Walk, was meant to be a walk and a balloon release, but the weather changed their plans to just sharing each other’s stories, which is an important thing to do.
“Events like this help the community understand what the problem is because people don’t talk about it. You don’t talk about being abused at the produce section of your grocery store or over lunch with your girlfriends because it’s uncomfortable,” says Ross Scott with the Penelope House.
Two weeks ago, we saw the shooting death of Sheneice Sumpter. Police arrested Peter Gales, with whom she had a romantic relationship. Sumpter’s sister told news media her sister had been abused by Gales and that she was just about to leave town for a new job and that’s why she was killed. Victims today need to know they have a support group.
“If we all come out in support and come together as one, we can end this, not just by sharing our stories, but by our strength together, coming together as a community,” says Madilyn Anderson.
Now, we see events like these where people are trying their best to teach the next generation that abuse is not acceptable.
“Domestic Violence is the wrong thing to do because it affects the children by, if you have a loved one or a parent when they are killed by domestic violence, it affects them because they don’t have that loved one in their life anymore,” says Samiyah Shakoor.
“When we as men commit to an act of domestic violence, we not only hurt women physically but mentally and spiritually also,” says Jalen Shkoor.