The 19th Annual March To End Domestic Violence took place Thursday at noon to support a cause that hits home with more people than many might think.
Reaching out to victims of domestic and sexual abuse is vital in their recovery to a better life. That's the exact purpose the YWCA of Topeka has each year when coordinators put on the Week Without Violence, a week-long series of activities that promotes a world without domestic abuse.
"It happens everyday in our communities," District Attorney Derek Schmidt said. "But it's awareness year round that really is critical."
Today's last event, the finale of the week, was the March To End Domestic Violence, which started at the steps of the capital and ended at the YWCA. Kansans came out with signs and, most importantly, their voices, to let victims know they are supported in the community.
Amy Pinger, Director of Girls On The Run, a YWCA youth outreach program, said this event is important to reach out to victims.
"This can have a huge impact for our victims," she said. "To let them know that they are supported, to let them know that the community cares about them and that the community cares about them. That they have resources and options."
These types of community outreach events actually have an impact on those who are or have been affected by domestic violence. Education and reassurance that there are places to go are what makes victims feel like they can start moving on.
"There's many programs who will take them in and get them out of that relationship," participant Kerri Jones said. "They'll really help you get from down in a bad relationship and back up on your feet."
Each year the YWCA helps thousands of victims through its 24-hour crisis helpline, support groups and counseling.
Today's march ended with a free lunch at the YWCA along with information on how to stay involved.
For more information about how you can stop domestic violence for yourself or someone you know, visit YWCA.org.