YWCA holds rally and march to end Week without Violence
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Gender-based violence survivors, allies and community members united at the statehouse Friday to close the YWCA’s Week without Violence.
Demonstrators heard from area leaders, survivors and victims’ families as they learned ways to help someone in need.
“This has been a great week for us to do a lot of education and advocacy,” said YWCA of Northeast Kansas CEO Kathleen Marker said.
“We’ve had training with those from the faith communities because a lot of times they are the first person someone might go to talk about what’s happening in a relationship and we’ve also done some training with those in the business environment.”
The week also provided opportunities to teach future generations about healthy relationships.
“In our household, we start very early on talking about what appropriate relationships look like,” said Danielle Twenlow of Moms Demand Action.
“We walk through what consent means, we walk through what happens when you’re at a party and this situation occurs and we discuss what codependency looks like, we discuss warning signs from a very early stage middle school high school we’re already talking about that.”
The message moved down the streets with a march to the YWCA building.
Domestic violence survivor Regina Platt said it is not always easy to simply leave a situation.
“You fight to give your kids stability and sometimes in a fight to give your kids stability you lose yourself,” explained Platt, who is also the YWCA’s Racial Justice Coordinator.
“You lose your voice and for myself, personally, it took a minute for me to go because I had not realized I had been abused.”
Chief Bryan Wheeles of the Topeka Police Department said he hopes his agency can be a supporting voice to those in domestic violence situations.
“I think the most important thing you can do is show them that you care and show them that they matter,” he said.
“The choices are ultimately theirs to make but certainly the fact that somebody cares and that they matter is something we try to get across these days.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence you can contact the YWCA’s 24-hour hotline at 1-888-822-2983.
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