El Pasoans walk downtown streets to raise awareness about domestic violence

El Pasoans walk downtown streets to raise awareness about domestic violence

POSTED: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 4:49pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 4:51pm

"...and justice for all" walk organized by Center Against Family Violence

The Center Against Family Violence organized the first ever "...and justice for all walk" in Downtown El Paso Wednesday. 

The walk started outside of the El Paso County Courthouse, something that District Attorney Jaime Esparza said is symbolic of the importance of the judicial system in ensuring that domestic violence cases get justice.

In 2012, Esparza said local law enforcement received 19,000 calls related to domestic violence incidents.

"Domestic violence touches lots of families in all walks of life so it's not one gender, it's not one socioeconomic group, it's not one ethnic group, it crosses all families in our community," said Stephanie Karr, Executive Director for the Center of Family Violence.

Karr said the walk sends two messages; first, that there is help available for victims of family violence.  Second, it shows that the El Paso community is standing together to support those victims.

Maria Sanchez attended the walk in memory of her daughter, Monica Sanchez, who died in 2005 at the hands of her high school sweetheart. 

"He was controlling, very jealous and he finally ended up killing her and she left a little girl behind," said Sanchez

Maria's daughter died eight years ago, and for the past six years, Maria has been a volunteer at the Center Against Family Violence.

"If I can help one person, then it'll be satisfying," she said.

During her time as a volunteer, Maria said she has learned a lot about the complexity of abusive relationships.

"Not to judge them because there are a lot of reasons why they stay. Most of all they do love them and they hope that they can change them," Maria said.

She also has a message for anyone in a similar situation.

"Don't keep it to yourself. Talk to somebody about it and get help. There is help, whether you're the aggressor or the victim, there is help out there for you."

If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone who is, you can call the Center Against Family Violence Crisis Hope-Line at 915-593-7300.  It is available 24-hours a day.

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