April 29, 2016
In the past six weeks, at least six people in the metro-Birmingham area have lost their lives to domestic violence, including two unborn babies. In addition, one woman was bloodied, beaten and held hostage by her ex-boyfriend for 36 hours to keep her from testifying against him in a prior domestic violence case.
In the wake of the recent rash of domestic violence homicides in the Birmingham area, YWCA Central Alabama will host a Black Out Domestic Violence Rally on Monday, May 2, 2016 at noon in Linn Park. Participants are urged to wear black in memory of those who have lost their lives to this senseless crime.
District Court Judge Katrina Ross will be among the speakers, which will include law enforcement, court officials, and victims' advocates. "Enough is enough," said Annetta Nunn, community outreach coordinator for the YWCA. "Domestic violence happens everywhere, and too many people in our community are being killed by abusers who claim to love them."
Cassandra Hatter was the most recent victim. The mother of two was stabbed repeatedly by her boyfriend while she was asleep. He has been charged with her murder. "She had a beautiful, infectious smile," one of her family members said. "She was a fashionista, she loved to dance and was one of the most caring people in the world. Her children were always her number one priority."
The YWCA offers a broad array of services for domestic violence victims, including a 24-hour Crisis Hotline (205.322.4878), two confidentially-located domestic violence shelters, legal services and court advocacy and support groups for victims and their children. Hotline workers can help callers develop a safety plan and provide information about other lifesaving resources.
"We have to continue to speak out and let victims know that help is available, and we need to educate the public so they can recognize the signs in case someone they love is suffering in silence," Nunn said.
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