On Saturday, October 18, over 1000 women and men from all over the country and the world participated in the National March To End The Silence in Washington DC. Organized by the National Silent Witness Initiative, women and men from all fifty states and seven countries marched on Washington in memory of all the women and children who have died at the hands of their husbands,fathers and partners.
Carrying the red silhouettes bearing the names and stories of their daughters, mothers, sisters and friends, the marchers paid a silent, moving tribute to the murdered victims of domestic abuse. Dealing with the reality of their personal loss and experiences, the participants walked in a quiet state of reflection, but as the procession reached the Capitol Building, the voices of hope and determination emerged as the demonstrators demanded that attention be given to the epidemic of domestic violence and the many lives it continues to endanger.
The voices only got louder as survivors, speakers and musicians offered support and solutions to this awesome dilemma. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minn) applauded the efforts of the Silent Witness Initiative, which originated in his home state of Minnesota, to heighten the awareness of domestic abuse. “This is too powerful. This is too real. This is too important,” he said, advertising the importance of this issue to the policymaking community.
As the rally concluded, the 1500 silhouettes representing the average number of women and children killed by domestic violence each year, were lead to the Reflecting Pool and lined up to tell their stories to the tourists and passerbys. Prayers and personal stories closed out the vigil as women and men from all walks of life asked for an end to the crisis of domestic abuse.