More than 100 members of the Amarillo community came together Monday to take part in a walk through downtown to raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence in the Texas Panhandle.
Organizing the walk was the Amarillo Potter Randall Domestic Violence Coalition. This coalition comprises multiple agencies committed to implementing initiatives to eliminate domestic violence, enhance victim safety and increase offender accountability.
The walk, which ended at the Potter County Courthouse, was followed by words from community leaders on this cause. Mayor Cole Stanley and Jane Jackson, wife of congressman Ronny Jackson, addressed the crowd along with Randall County District Attorney Robert Love and Potter County District Attorney Jason Herring.
Love spoke about the event and its importance to the community.
“Our walk today was designed to make people aware of domestic violence in our community. We try to heighten awareness so that people realize that we need to do something about it,” Love said.
Love said that one of the things that he talks about with prospective jurors in a domestic violence case is that we all know someone who has been touched by domestic violence, and this is your chance to do something about it.
“Now, this is a chance for the whole community to do something about domestic violence,” Love said. “If you see something, say something or do something. Do not just let it go because it is just one of those things or a family matter. Do something about it, because it is something that our community needs to stop.”
Amarillo Police Chief Martin Birkenfeld spoke about the importance of recognizing and taking action against domestic violence.
“I think there are segments of our community that are completely unaware of domestic violence, and our goal is to make people understand this a serious problem,” Birkenfeld said. “Unfortunately, we continue to have serious injuries and deaths due to domestic violence each year. There is not enough that we can do to educate on this to make sure people know that there are many different organizations here to support people who are victims of domestic violence, and there are organizations like the police that will hold offenders accountable.”
Tracie Reilly, an assistant district attorney with Randall County, spoke about the march that was done to bring awareness to Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“This event kicks off what we hope will be a month of people really realizing that domestic violence is pervasive,” Reilly said. “It affects all demographic groups; it affects all regions, races and religions in Amarillo. The first step toward ending this problem is recognizing that it is happening. Hopefully, if we recognize domestic violence and support the victims that are going through this, then we can work together to end it.”
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Domestic violence awareness walk held in downtown Amarillo