Thursday, September 29, 2011

Richmond Police, Commonwealth's Attorney's Office Partner to Raise Domestic Violence Awareness

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. The Richmond Police Department and the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office are working together to change that.

“We want women – and men – to report all incidents of domestic violence to prevent an assault from becoming a homicide,” Chief Bryan T. Norwood said. “Most victims are in denial. They believe that the aggressor will eventually stop. The problem with that is these incidents, historically, only escalate.”

Richmond Police responded to more than 11,000 domestic violence calls for service in 2010 and are on track for the same number for 2011.

“We will continue to prioritize domestic violence cases,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring said. “The scope and depth of the damage caused by domestic violence is far greater than most people realize. We see the impact years later through the actions of children who witness it.”

Richmond Police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will kick off the 4th Annual Domestic Violence “Walk a Mile in my Shoes” Campaign with a free 5K walk Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Boat Lake in Byrd Park.

Police vehicles representing area law enforcement jurisdictions will lead off the walk. Verizon also will make a donation to a local domestic violence shelter through funds raised from its HopeLine program. Used cell phone donations and clothing donations for women and children housed in area shelters also will be accepted at the event.

The annual campaign also will include a free Domestic Violence Awareness Forum, scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at Cedar Street Baptist Church of God, 2301 Cedar St. Panelists and resources will be available to those in need of assistance or those who wish to help area victims of domestic violence.

The 5K walk and the forum are open to the public. For more information, please contact Sgt. Carol Adams at 646-4069.