The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (DVCC) held its fourth annual “March to End the Silence on Domestic Violence,” on Wednesday to advocate awareness for domestic violence.
The DVCC is a task force put together by the city and county commission. The DVCC is a 20 year organization.
According to Director of the DVCC, Kelly O’ Rourke, “We specialize in making sure we have a well-coordinated community response as well as a lot of public awareness and education events.”
The march kicked off at 5 p.m., in three different locations: The Capitol steps, Florida A&M University and Florida State University. Purple shirt wearing staunch supporters flooded through the streets with banners and flags to celebrate survivors and to draw attention to Domestic Violence Awareness month in October.
The survivor speak out and panel discussion was held at the FSU Turnbull Conference Center where advocates were served an Italian-style dinner after rallying.
Survivor speaker, Shannon Weatherby gave a personal account of her story and how she overcame the abuse she suffered since the age of 17.
“I feared retribution, what would happen when he got back if I called the police? I already had to hide sometimes!” said Weatherby.
Also among attendees was last year’s survivor speaker, Alicia Armstrong and her dog Harper, who is a registered animal therapy dog.
“I pursue my passion every single day, and now I have the opportunity in the community to have a voice and just kind of shine my light and encourage current victims to get out of their situation,” said Armstrong.
Promoting awareness and giving hope to those who may be afraid to come forward is the foundation and thriving will for the Council.
“Each year this event highlights the importance of everybody’s story, there is not one that is more glamorous than the other no matter the circumstance,” Armstrong added.
The DVCC encourages those who are dealing with domestic violence or have observed signs to contact the Refuge House at 1-800-500-1119 or 850-681-2111.
Students who attend FSU, FAMU and TCC are advised to visit the on campus counseling centers or visit: www.loveisrespect.org, as they corroborate with the DVCC to combat the pandemic.