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Volunteers gather to protest domestic violence

IMG_3293 Dozens of people walked one mile in honor of domestic violence survivors. Supporters held a sign to honor the memory of Kaity Sudberry, a teenager who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. (Photo by Kelly Kleber)

Domestic violence walk and awareness-day kicked off Saturday morning with a group of volunteers gathering to raise funds for the Agnes Center battered women's shelter in Phoenix.

The event brought together coordinators of several foundations that work to spread awareness of the challenges that abuse victims face.

The group of volunteers included women who spoke about their own past experiences of domestic abuse.

President of the Kaity's Way foundation Bobbi Lynn Sudberry said her daughter's death at the hands of an ex-boyfriend was what inspired her to began working against domestic violence.

"We've taken our own tragedy and turned it to help others," she said to the group of volunteers that gathered after a mile-long fundraiser walk. "Our goal is to promote understanding and educate the community to lessen instances of violence."

Participants gathered at the Top Level Boxing gym. The event was coordinated with the Streets Don't Love You Back foundation.

Founder of TSDLYB Robert D. Boyd has published multiple books on the subject of street violence relating to his own experiences, and became involved in the move to increase domestic violence awareness.

"It all started from my book," he said. "We need to educate kids about gangs, drugs and violence."

Author Grace Crockett said that so much of the violence is of a cyclical nature.

"So many people don't realize what they're going through until it's too late," she said. "We just want to be accepted, and abuse can be mistaken for love."

Volunteers handed out pamphlets and literature that detailed resources for abuse victims and strategies to cope with the situations.

Crockett said that in spreading the word she has discovered her own strength.

"There are too many victims and not enough overcomes," she said. "It's so important for especially young people to recognize how to deal with these problems."

Boyd said he would be interested in coordinating an event with ASU in the future.


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