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One by one, the men’s names were called, and they walked to the steps of City Hall, standing shoulder to shoulder, sending a clear message.
They came to the noontime event Tuesday to publicly take a stand against domestic violence — more than 130 of them, from teenagers to retired seniors. About 70 men attended the same event last year.
“Let’s not let the victims of domestic violence continue to suffer in silence,” said Columbus resident Gil Palmer, one of the speakers at the second annual “Men Take a Stand” event.
Organizers wanted to demonstrate that many men in the community are willing to stand up for women and that the violence will not be tolerated.
The event was coordinated by the Domestic Violence Action Team, a Reach Healthy Communities initiative. The group partnered with Turning Point Domestic Violence Services.
Palmer said the statistics about domestic violence are alarming, and it does not discriminate based on age, nationality, socioeconomic standing or even sex.
Some men also are the victims of domestic violence, organizers said.
Speakers noted that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury in women between the ages of 14 and 44.
Jacob Bricker, a Columbus North High School junior and member of Teens for Change, told those attending that he has become very passionate about the cause. He also volunteers for a state council to stop domestic violence and helps with the annual high school dance marathon to raise money for Turning Point.
Eliminating domestic violence will take a combination of many people and agencies, said Jack Hess, executive director of the Community Education Coalition’s Institute for Coalition Building.
“Silence is the greatest enemy,” said Hess, adding that a community can’t be great with its members battling domestic violence.
The Domestic Violence Action Team presented its first Angel Award to John Foster of White River Broadcasting for his support of the fight against domestic violence in Bartholomew County.
Foster said his personal turning point came when he learned that one in four women will experience a domestic violence incident in their lifetime.
With two daughters and two granddaughters, Foster said, that made the issue very personal.
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