Batterers Get Custody of Children. See the PBS: Documentary Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories http://vodpod.com/watch/3314727-8-2008-bts-wmv?u=ampp&c=ampp
Domestic Violence Video Interview:
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Participants in Friday afternoon's "March to Action" in downtown Topeka varied in age, race and gender.
Some marchers held signs and chanted slogans, while others walked silently.
Yet all carried the same message: Domestic violence must be confronted, it must be stopped, and survivors must be supported.
"I'm a survivor who lost everything but my life," said Claudine Dombrowski, 45, of Topeka, who said she has been at all 16 marches held each October in conjunction with the YWCA's Week Without Violence. "I come out here every year to bring awareness, because I can't let it keep happening to other people."
About 100 people turned out for the march, which started on the south side of the Statehouse and ended about two blocks south at the YWCA of Topeka, 225 S.W. 12th.
Before the march left the Statehouse, participants were urged by Attorney General Steve Six to be aware of people they knew who may be victims of domestic violence — and to assist them in seeking help.
Six also applauded volunteers who work with domestic violence victims and prosecutors who hold perpetrators responsible for their crimes.
Among local law enforcement heads taking part in the walk were Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller, Shawnee County Sheriff Dick Barta and Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor.
Jay Rice, 26, of Meriden, came with several other students from Washburn University, where he is a senior.
Rice said the march was a way of keeping domestic violence in front of a public that might prefer not to deal with the issue.
"It's a good way to put it out in front of everybody," he said. "Even if they don't want to see it, they get a little glimpse of it."
Elizabeth Johnson, 32, of Topeka, another marcher, said she was a domestic violence survivor.
A fiance in college, she said, was the abuser.
"By God's grace," she said, "I was able to get out of that relationship."
Like other marchers on the cloudy Friday afternoon, Johnson said the subject of domestic violence was too important to ignore.
"I think it's something that's just not talked about," she said. "That's why I'm here — I want to raise awareness and stand up for the people who don't have a voice. And a lot of these women just don't have a voice."
The march left the Statehouse grounds at S.W. 10th and Jackson, then went two blocks south, to S.W. 12th and Jackson, ending at the YWCA, where law enforcement officers served a hot dog lunch to participants. Marchers were led by the Topeka High School drum line.
Read more at cjonline.com
The Week Without Violence started Sunday evening with a prayer vigil for victims and survivors at Grace Episcopal Cathedral. Other events included a showing of the film "Telling Amy's Story" at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and a teen program titled "Relationship Ready!" at Royal Valley High School in Hoyt.