Families torn apart by violence march to raise awareness of resources
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In the year of 2021 alone, East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office is reporting 150 homicides, some of those are linked to domestic violence.
Every step is a step to remember. Families and friends gather to hold onto the beautiful memories of their loved ones they lost to gun and domestic violence.
“It just came to me one night, just laying in bed. I just said I wasn’t going to worry about doing Thanksgiving, I was just going to do this walk for domestic violence and gun violence,” says Mary Foster.
Foster lost her daughter, Laquana Whitfield in 2017 to domestic violence. She then lost her son, Courtney Whitfield, this past June when he was shot while working at the IHOP on Siegan Lane.
“It hurt because just like somebody’s child get you know gunned down and for no reason, and it’s like we lost a child, we lost kids; well, it hurt you also. So, I know you know, and it’s not fair for anyone to be,” adds Foster.
Foster knows she is not the only one in the community who has lost a loved on to violence. It’s why she asked those who are still grieving to walk with her, and to remind their community that violence doesn’t have to be the end result.
“We win together, and I think the more people that we make aware the more people will see that are together on this. What happens is it creates a potential for change,” explains Cedric Murphy who is a pastor at Providence I Baptist Church.
The group says they want to do this walk twice a year, with hope it will lead to change. “When you find yourself doing something just take out the time and stop, pause and pray,” says Foster.
If you are in a domestic violence situation and looking for help, we have a list of organizations that you can reach out to:
Butterfly Society - (225) 347-7725
Iris Domestic Violence Shelter - (225) 389-3001
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence - 1 (888) 411-1333
Family Safe Haven - (225) 239-7880
Family Services of Greater Baton Rouge - (225) 924-0123
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