The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Photo by Charles Boothe:
The “Silent Witnesses” on East Church Street are stark reminders of the problem of domestic violence. The witnesses were placed on the lawn of the Rocky Mount United Methodist Church parsonage by, from left, Conrad Lavender, Nancy White, Cynthia Treadway, Felicia Burnette and Katrina Hancock.
Friday, October 19, 2012
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
On the front lawn of a house on East Church Street in Rocky Mount, several life-size silhouettes border the sidewalk.
Those silhouettes are far more than cardboard cutouts, though.
Each one represents a Franklin County resident who died due to domestic violence.
Cindy Treadway, director of the Franklin County Family Resource Center, teamed up with members of the Rocky Mount United Methodist Church on the "Silent Witness" project.
The goal is to bring awareness to the problem, she said. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The family resource center provided shelter to 64 victims of domestic violence last year, and 110 out-of -shelter victims received court accompaniment, Treadway said.
The Silent Witnesses that are on display are only some of the victims that have died due to domestic violence in Franklin County, she said.
Not only does Treadway want to bring awareness to the problem, she also wants to make sure that victims know they have help available, at any time.
The resource center office line is at 483-5088 and the hotline number is 483-1234.
"Please know that the sheriff and his team work collaboratively with the Family Resource Center team in all areas of prevention, responding and even reviewing services to the community when it comes to domestic violence," Treadway said. "We are very passionate in our efforts to assist those who think they are alone in their suffering and crisis."
Treadway outlines some "red flags" that perpetrators of domestic violence often exhibit:
•Blaming others for own faults.
•Drug or alcohol use and abuse.
•History of family violence.
•Cruelty to animals.
•Fascination with weapons.
•Strong gender stereotypes.
•Difficulty with authority.
•Cannot express emotions verbally.
•Treats partner like property/possession.
•Isolates partner from friends and family.
•Blows up at little things.
•Thinks it is okay to resolve conflict with violence.
Help is only a phone call away, Treadway said.
The silhouettes are located at the corner of East Church Street and Maple Avenue, and the lawn is with the parsonage of Rocky Mount United Methodist Church.
"The church has been a big supporter of the FCFRC over the years, and this year it decided to step it up by hosting the Silent Witnesses," Treadway said. "The Town of Rocky Mount gave their support in the display being set up for the remainder of the month of October. They also gave approval for FCFRC to place a large banner in the yard of the farmers' market to remind everyone that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month."
Nancy White, a member of the church, said her Bible study group wanted to get involved, so they volunteered to help with the project.
Another church member, Conrad Lavender, also is helping and said it's rewarding to be part of the project.
Treadway said the family resource center's domestic violence program offers many services, including crisis intervention, safety planning, court accompaniment, support groups, and danger assessments.
"This program also includes an emergency, 30-day stay, shelter for women, women and their children, men, men and their children, who are victims of domestic violence, if needed," she said.
Ferrum College and its representative, Jill Adams, has also worked collaboratively with the center to provide education, knowledge and empowerment to the students on campus when it comes to dating violence and what a healthy relationship should be, Treadway added.
Anyone from Franklin County who has had an immediate family member die due to domestic violence should contact Treadway at the center's number if they want a silent witness created in memory of that loved one.