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'Stop blaming victims': Rally brings awareness to domestic violence

Posted October 26

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— Domestic violence organizations in Wake, Johnston, Wilson, Edgecombe and Nash counties held a rally and silent march Wednesday in downtown Raleigh to raise awareness on the issue.

Stephen Puryear says he would have done anything to protect his daughter, but had no clue what she was dealing with until it was too late.

"We got a call that our daughter had been shot by her boyfriend. I rushed to the scene and she was already dead," Puryear said.

Britny Puryear, 22, had an infant son. She was shot in the head in 2014 by her boyfriend, Logan McLean.

Stephen Puryear said he now carries a very heavy burden of guilt for not knowing what was going on.

"That's the guilt I have every day," he said. "I think about that every day. Why wouldn't my daughter tell me."

Puryear was one of many who marched silently down Fayetteville Street in memory of a loved one. The impact is far reaching.

"It does have an impact on the individual victims and survivors, but also on their children, on their extended families, their neighborhoods, their work environments," said doctor Stephanie Francis.

Francis said communities must stop victim-shaming.

"Stop blaming victims for the abuse that they experience and start holding perpetrators responsible for the abuse that they are perpetrating against other," she said.

Puryear said it may be too late for his daughter, but it is not too late for someone else's.

"Nobody comes to tell you until it's too late," he said. "Lots of people came forward as witnesses of previous abuse, but it was after the fact, after she was already gone."

One in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

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