Around 100 people circled around the courthouse square in downtown Bloomington on Monday to show support for victims of domestic violence.
A mix of community leaders, victims and other supporters stood side-by-side holding signs with a name of a person they symbolically supported on the second to last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Brein Huffman, a domestic violence survivor, said she was pleased with the strides taken by the community and Mid Central Community Action (MCCA), which organized the event.
“I think it is a great thing for the community,” Huffman said. “I know I see a lot of community leaders out here, which is very encouraging. I, myself, as a domestic violence survivor, find things like this really important to bring awareness. So often, victims are so embarrassed or scared to speak out.”
The crowd was mostly comprised of men, as the rally aimed to “show domestic violence victims in our community that we will no longer tolerate violence against them,” organizers said in a statement.
Attendee Dick File said it is important to unite men and women on this issue.
“I think it is essential (for men to show support),” File said. "I think it is a societal problem, and society is made up of men and women … I just thought it was important to attend, to be part of the number of people that want our society to have respect for women and for domestic partners.”
Following the demonstration, attendees gathered to listen to Tasha Davis, a coordinator for Mayor’s Manor and author of “Hope for the Battered Girl,” which shares her experiences and battles with domestic abuse that started when she was just 14 years old.
“When I look at what I have gone through and where I am at today, I’m actually so grateful that I got through it,” Davis said in her testimonial speech.
According to MCCA, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men will experience some kind of violence from their intimate partner during their life.
Huffman said the first step for victims is telling someone.
“I would say to at least find a close trusted friend first, and just find someone who can partner with you to take the necessary steps to get out,” Huffman said.
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