TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FSU/WTXL) -- Florida State University's College of Social Work Institute for Family Violence Studies and the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council will sponsor "Behind the Door," an event to help end the silence surrounding domestic violence. The event, which takes place September 24, will feature a rallying march followed by speakers and dinner. Marching is not required.
“Domestic violence is a serious problem in our community with victims and perpetrators of all ages, races and economic groups,” said Kelly O’Rourke, research associate at the Institute for Family Violence Studies. “With this program, we hope to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence, to help people understand the red flags of a dangerous relationship, encourage them to get help when needed and to inspire the entire community to work together to end the violence.”
The march will start from three separate locations: Florida A&M University, the Florida Capitol and the Florida State University Integration Statue on Woodward Avenue. the groups will converge at the Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center for the dinner portion of the event.
During the dinner, two survivors of domestic violence will share their stories: Valorie Parker, who found herself homeless after surviving domestic abuse during her 19-year marriage to a minister and is now rebuilding her life along with her four children; and Tammy Slay, who endured years of abuse even while her husband was studying to be a minister. Shunned by her congregation, Slay has made a new life for herself as a professional victims’ advocate.
“Their stories remind us that batterers come in all shapes and sizes and can even be someone you thought you could trust,” O’Rourke said.
The event is free and open to the public. The march begins at 5 p..m, and the dinner will last from 6-8 p.m.