By DEVASTASHA BEAVER
Community members marched to stomp out domestic violence Wednesday evening.
For the second year in a row, Homesafe held its Walk Against Abuse at Kent State University Ashtabula.
The KSUA Justice Club volunteered to help and led the walk around campus with the Homesafe banner.
Homesafe Outreach Coordinator Julie Wood said, “It was nice that the rain stopped for us and let us out here.” In the case of rain the walk would have been held inside.
Wood said the walk used to be held on Main Street. “We like to move it around every so often so more people can be exposed to it.”
“As a community, we
want to stand together and give a voice to the victims and say we’re not going to take this anymore,” Wood said. “I wish we could wipe it out, but our numbers (at Homesafe) have been pretty constant.”
Every participant received a gift bag with information and purple Homesafe bracelets that read “Love Shouldn’t Hurt Homesafe 992-2727.” The same brace-let, Wood said, was included in back-to-school bags.
“I really want the young people to know what Homesafe means and memorize that phone number. Even if they’re 20, they’ll remember, ‘I had that bracelet,’” Wood said.
One of the featured speakers, Detective Brian Rose of the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, told stories of domestic violence situations he’s responded to.
He said that in one case, the wife ran out of the house because her husband was going to get his gun. “The husband ripped the phone out of the wall, and the 8-year-old (child) held the phone cords together for the 10-year-old to call 911.”
He said the wife hid under a car that was up on cinderblocks long enough for them to restrain the husband.
“Every time someone gets shoved against the wall, that’s domestic violence,” Rose said. “It isn’t only the black eyes, it’s that hurt deep down inside. This happens every day.”
“Only 30 percent of domestic violence cases are reported. That means 70 percent aren’t reported,” he said.
Assistant County Prosecutor Cecilia M. Cooper said, “Domestic violence is learned. It’s a cycle. When a child sees a parent beaten, they think that is how you treat people. Those are scars, too, and that grows into abuse.”
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, represented with the purple ribbon. Homesafe is an agency that provides safe shelter to victims and survivors of Domestic Violence that started with Headstart.