Chanting "Love Doesn’t Hit" throughout the streets, president of Active Minds Quantina Washington teamed up with Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (DVCC) Kelly O’Rourke to host their sixth annual domestic violence walk.
Students and members of Active Minds at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) gathered at the Welcome Center and journeyed to Tallahassee Community College (TCC) Capitol Center on West Pensacola Street.
A current member and second year public relations student Bleu Bell said, “Domestic violence is very important and we really just want to spread the word and end it. Even if we have to march a very long way.”
Drivers in several passing cars blew their horns in support of the walk, and motivated students to complete the 23-minute walk to the TCC Capitol Center.
With approximately 170 supporters in attendance, Director O’Rourke said that this year's event attracted the largest turnout yet. Along with a free dinner, members of DVCC and victims of domestic violence got a chance to express their stories.
A local survivor broke into tears while sharing her story during the event. She said, “I was stabbed 13 to 14 times, and the reason I say that is because after 14, they just stopped counting." She encouraged the crowd by asking women to remain strong.
“We’re trying to go back to the source," O’Rourke said. She hopes to educate teens about awareness, the signs of being in a violent relationship and prevention.
To help reach a younger crowd DVCC hired Tallahassee local rapper, Tareef Knockout, to perform at the event. He debuted his latest song, "Sad Truths." The rapper dedicated the song to Javona Glover, T-Pain’s niece, who was stabbed in broad daylight by her ex-boyfriend while working at Walgreens on West Tennessee Street last August.
The song expressed the need to speak out against domestic violence and know the of a dangerous relationship. In the song Tareef said, “another day as the world turns, you never know what people go through.”
O’Rourke says the organization will begin informational workshops to help teens identify the warning signs of abusive relationships. The workshops will include the necessary steps for teens to take if they or their peers are placed in a dangerous situation.
DVCC is a group of agencies that work with victims of domestic violence. Representatives from the agencies meet monthly. Their meetings ensure that they have an effective network when treating victims of domestic violence for years to come.