Walk raises awareness of domestic violence

ROCHESTER — Margarita González Martínez and Felix Martínez came out for the fourth-annual Walk Against Domestic Violence to help boost awareness in the Latino community about the taboo topic.

Lucila Matos of Rochester organized the walk to do just that: Let people know that abuse of any kind against anyone will no longer be tolerated, she said. The walk, which began at Maplewood Rose Park and continued along Driving Park Avenue to Dewey Avenue and back to the park, has grown from 50 people in 2012 to nearly 200 people on Aug. 29.

The walk ended with a release of purple and white balloons to represent people who have died because of domestic violence.

"As parents, we need to start showing our kids that we have peace so you guys can take peace outside and show peace to the others," Matos said. "Everybody needs to know about this. … God has my back."

Reaching out to the community is important, González Martínez and her husband, both parishioners of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish. Several city churches were represented at the march.

"Sometimes people think they don’t have the right to speak up about things like this; they think they need to stay quiet," she said.

"I don’t think the Latino community does enough to promote nonviolence and awareness" about domestic violence, added Martínez. "And this is not just about men against women. It goes both ways and doesn’t get reported most of the time."

The march was led by members of the University of Rochester football team. Coach Scott Greene said that when he learned of the walk through social media, he decided to make it part of the community activities that the team takes part in during its season.

"With everything going on across the country and on college campuses … it was (important) for our group to help continue spreading the word the best we can" against any kind of domestic violence or violence against women, he added.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To watch a video with highlights of the march, visit http://on.fb.me/1Vs6L9t.

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