Volksmarch draws attention to abuse
November 15, 2011
HOHENFELS, Germany -- Members of the Hohenfels Military Community marched across post last month bearing banners, lanterns, and balloons in an effort to raise awareness on the problems of Domestic Abuse.
"The lanterns represent each one of the people who have been victimized by domestic abuse during the past year in Hohenfels," said Priscilla Fleischer, Family Advocacy Program Manager. The balloons represented the children of the families involved.
"A volksmarch raises community awareness by involving the whole family, because domestic abuse involves the whole family," Fleischer said. She added that since children are also victims, she felt it important to get them involved as well, and many children marched side by side with their parents.
Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Hunt said his sixth-grade daughter, Faith, had urged him to participate.
"Hopefully we can stop the domestic violence, at least in our community," Hunt said. "Even if we can't stop it worldwide, a small community like this we might be able to have some impact."
Eleven-year old Colton Carnes held his lantern proudly, saying he was lighting the way for victims of domestic abuse.
"I'm walking here to try and support families that have…parents getting into fights and hitting each other, or parents hitting their children," he said.
Participants left from the elementary school, circled up past the youth center, then headed down General Patton drive to the Community Activity Center where they released their balloons into the air before enjoying snacks and drinks inside. They also got to view a quilt designed by close to 40 community members.
The hand-drawn squares will be stitched into a quilt by volunteers led by Tracey Norrell.
"Myself being a survivor of domestic abuse, it makes it a passion for me," she said. "If I can help one other person out of a bad situation, than I have done what I was set on earth to do."
"The quilt gives each individual a chance to express their feelings towards domestic abuse," explained Norrell. "Some panels are about courage, some are shouting out 'Stop'."
Fleischer said victims of domestic abuse have a variety of options when seeking help, including the Chaplain's office, behavioral health, and the victim advocate at ACS.
"There is always help out there," she said.