Sorority to raise awareness of domestic violence

By John Henderson

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An event to raise awareness about domestic violence is scheduled for Saturday at Edgecombe Community College.

The event, sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. chi Omega Chapter, is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Edgecombe Community College’s Rocky Mount campus at 225 Tarboro St.

Nathlyn Ohree, a member of the fraternity who organized the event, said the event is free to the public and is part of the sorority’s social justice and human rights initiative.

The event is being held in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“It is an event to help the public be aware of domestic violence,” she said. “We’re trying to eliminate domestic violence in Rocky Mount and surrounding areas through awareness.”

The event will feature several speakers, including Rocky Mount resident Katrina Sweet, who has written a book about domestic violence.

“She will be describing her personal experience with domestic violence,” Ohree said. “We will be presenting her to our Rocky Mount area as a resource.”

Victor Jones, clinical director of the Valiant Families abuser treatment program, is scheduled to make a presentation at the event. He treats abusers in a state certified domestic violence program.

“I’ll talk about domestic violence, but more from a family perspective, the effects it has on children, and hopefully, will impress upon people how domestic violence affects us all,” Jones said. “(The violence) affects not only the people directly in the household but also as a community.”

He said he will outline how domestic violence can impact our children’s future.

“I’ll be presenting some of the economic costs, some of the psychological costs, and even the medical costs going forward, and that we all have a major responsibly to take a stand and to be helpful towards each other and not continue an attitude that it’s someone else’s problem,” Jones said.

He said nobody is exempt from the effects of domestic violence.

“At any time any of us could be affected directly by it or our children or grandchildren,” he said. “Ideally, it would be great to have a community where domestic violence wasn’t a secret thing that was allowed to continue to grow. We know enough to know that the end of it is deadly. We know it is debilitating emotionally, psychologically. It kills people one way or another. I think we all play a role in exposing that and standing against it.”