BROWN DEER -- Giving a voice to those too scared to speak up. In light of domestic violence awareness month, a local organization reached out to the community and shared ways to help victims. The recent Brookfield Spa shooting has caused many in the community to also take action.
Members of Impact Coalition for Families, gathered community members to learn how to support domestic violence victims in need. Dr. Alice Belcher the founder of the organization said, “It happens more often than people may be aware, domestic violence homicide.”
The meeting was held in Brown Deer, the home of Zina Haughton a domestic violence victim shot and killed by her husband Radcliffe Haughton. “We were going to include having an acknowledgement of these women and what happened to them and how she suffered in our community in Brown Deer silently,” added Belcher.
Shoes laid beside a small memorial for the victims killed in Sunday’s mass shooting. Belcher said, "We’re symbolizing those shoes that we’re going to continue the walk for them. We’re determined that these women and women like them will never be forgotten. We’re going to walk the walk for them going to talk to the talk and impact positive change to eliminate domestic violence in our community.
Mark Hunter, who wrote the book “Best Practices” spoke of ways to intervene in domestic violence cases and the need for safe havens. “We just have to be smarter about how we believe victims, try to protect them, support them and support the decisions they make,” said Hunter.
Sherry Scopp said, "With the intimidation, the threats, and control I don’t think they feel safe enough to leave." Scopp supported the educational efforts. After losing her daughter to domestic violence, she said it's imperative that folks understand the severity of it. Organizers want people to people to reach out and step in before it’s too late.
Belcher added, "It is truly going to take the entire community to be educated not one at a time but all at once to impact that positive change."
If you're a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, contact the Impact Coalition for Families. They can refer you shelter and immediate resources.
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