BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — While domestic violence often takes place behind closed doors, the City of Bessemer put the issue out in the open Thursday afternoon to raise awareness.
The city’s pink parade, to raise awareness for breast cancer, incorporated the color purple this year.
October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“Domestic violence is prevalent in our community. We had too many murders this year,” said Annetta Nunn, of the YWCA.
The parade comes on the heels of the murder of Nicole Wallace, a 31-year-old mother from Birmingham whose body was found in a burning car Monday. Her ex-husband, whom she divorced last month, is charged with her murder and police say there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship.
Nunn was one of several victim advocates at the parade Thursday.
Members of the Latch and Live Foundation, which is based in Bessemer, also marched in the parade.
Latch and Live helps provide resources for homeless schoolchildren in Bessemer.
Latanya Millhouse said that the foundation helps a lot of children from homes where domestic violence has or is taking place.
“The children are a victim — or a silent victim in domestic violence. We provide services to them to make sure they’re still grounded, still focused on their schoolwork and provide as little disruption as possible in their home life,” Millhouse said.
The parade wasn’t just about spreading awareness to neighbors about what might be happening behind closed doors.
Bessemer’s mayor, Kenneth Gulley, wanted to remind victims that they are not alone.
“We’re here, we stand with you,” Gulley said. “Whatever you need that we can provide as a city, we are going to be here to make sure that we take care and address the situation and help you transition to a safe environment.”