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Silent march planned to honor domestic violence victims

Posted September 12, 2012

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— For the second time in six weeks, people are expected to gather at the Wake County Courthouse in downtown Raleigh at noon Wednesday for a silent march against domestic violence. 

Organized by the Wake County Domestic Violence Task Force, the march is in response to five recent homicides in Wake County and is designed to raise community awareness about domestic violence and how victims get help. 

Wednesday's march comes two days after Kathleen Bertrand, 41, was shot and killed by her ex-husband, 42-year-old Christopher John Bertrand, in Raleigh's Cameron Village shopping center. Domestic Violence Domestic violence-related resources

Two weeks ago, police say Agata Flipska Vellotti, 43, was killed by her estranged husband, Mario Vellotti, outside a north Raleigh apartment complex after returning home from walking their 6-year-old son to school. 

According to Interact of Wake County, a nonprofit that promotes domestic violence awareness and services for victims, Bertrand's death marks the fifth domestic-violence homicide in Wake County since May.

At a silent march organized by the task force on July 25, about 50 people showed up. 

"It is absolutely critical for us to create awareness about the issue of domestic violence," Leigh Duque, executive director of InterAct of Wake County, said in July. "This is everybody's business. This isn't someone else's problem."

According to the North Carolina Council for Woman, North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation in homicides committed by men against women.

So far this year, the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence says there have been 45 domestic-violence homicides this year, including Kathleen Bertrand.

Last year, there were 106 in the state – four in Wake County – according to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.

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  • lazyrebel Sep 14, 2012

    I am really tired of all the poor women who claim abuse. I see alot of this as a vol ems provider. I had one lady say she use to hit herself so they would lock her husband up. I know this may be a minority, but I think we need to take a step back an re think all these "domestic abuse" laws

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 13, 2012

    Women abuse too.

  • LordHelpUsAll Sep 13, 2012

    Rabbitdog: I'm sure there are lots of liars in domestically charged cases. I do know first hand what I'm talking about though. I was one of the luckier ones just by chance. The restraining order was completely worthless though... and for the record, he wasn't ignorant by any stretch.

  • NCHighlander Sep 13, 2012

    A march to raise awareness? To what end? To take seriously restraining orders perhaps? To do something when the first sign of trouble has arisen? No wonder women feel trapped, nobody is going to do anything anyway until an actual crime is committed. Of course then it's too late. LordHelpUsAll

    You may find it hard to believe but there are women out there who lie like a dog on a rug and our system is set up to keep someone from going to jail until they have committed a crime. You issue restraining orders and that's it until something else.

    Best advice is don't marry an ignorant man or woman in the first place.

  • dollibug Sep 12, 2012

    *****Too often it is overlooked that there are abusive women. If a man is abusive, something is done about it. However, if a woman is... it is brushed off

    I agree.....I think that when a *protection order is issued*...it should be for both parties....that way one party can not abuse the system by holding the Protection Order over the other one's head...there is suppose to be NO CONTACT....but yet one party can continue to email, call and do whatever they take a notion to do....and then when the other party does something....911 is called and the person is picked up....this happens and it happens a lot....IF both parties were affected and both parties had to appear in court each and every time....it just might stop some of the *nonsense and abuse* that goes along with the DVPO's....

  • LordHelpUsAll Sep 12, 2012

    A march to raise awareness? To what end? To take seriously restraining orders perhaps? To do something when the first sign of trouble has arisen? No wonder women feel trapped, nobody is going to do anything anyway until an actual crime is committed. Of course then it's too late.

  • lyrabellacqua Sep 12, 2012

    charmcclainlovesdogs2:

    DV does not always start out with physical violence. By the time the abuse escalates to that level, a victim/survivor has most likely been verbally broken down into thinking she is nothing without her abuser, and more likely than not cut off socially, emotionally and financially from anything outside the abusive relationship. By the time the physical assaults begin, a victim often feels there is nobody left to turn to, and that life without the abuser is impossible. It is an enormously difficult decision to leave an abuser in most cases, and requires a lot of support from sources outside the relationship. Most victims return to their abuses at least 3 times before being able to leave for good. And those are the ones who get out. I encourage you to learn more about it before spouting off that victims/survivors should just be able to get up and leave. It is not that easy.

  • change2012 Sep 12, 2012

    @MichaelOps, the main focus is on women right now becuase that seems to be the target of DOmestic Violence lately. Not to single men out, but Domestic Violence is more so against women with proven facts. Im pretty sure if a mna was abused and he had the facts to prove it, then te women would get punished as well.

  • HomeBrewDude Sep 12, 2012

    Too often it is overlooked that there are abusive women. If a man is abusive, something is done about it. However, if a woman is... it is brushed off. Many men do not want to report such. I can attest to this as I had a ex-wife that was physically abusive. There needs to be more attention to this issue.

  • driverkid3 Sep 12, 2012

    I was a victim of domestic violence while I was growing up and only one time after I was grown. Ex husband put his fist up side of my head, knocking me over the dining room table and breaking 2 ribs. I went out to his car, got his pistol out and put the barrell right to his forehead between his eyes and begged him to hit me one more time. He turned around and left the apartment, and I did too. Got a friend to get me an airline ticket, and flew back to GA that same day. I do not tell anyone to do what I did at all. Now I tell anyone I am involved with if they raise their hand against me in anger, NOT to go to sleep around me. That seems to work.

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