In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, more than 150 survivors, advocates, elected officials, and community partners came together to celebrate the 16th Annual iPledge Campaign by Women Against Abuse, an organization that stands against acts or omissions that threaten women’s lives, integrity, freedom, or development.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was among the notable figures present at the event. Addressing the attendees, he assured that the violence evident on the city streets often originates in homes. “Working across city departments and with community organizations, our administration is committed to ensuring survivors receive the support they need before violence escalates.”
Kenney reiterated his support for women who work tirelessly to combat domestic violence in Philadelphia, stating, “We wholeheartedly support their work to save lives.”
The 16th Annual iPledge® Campaign, titled “The Power to Heal,” held in the courtyard of Philadelphia’s City Hall, emphasized the intersection of domestic and gun violence and its impact on the community.
Over 100 Deaths from Domestic Violence
Joanna Otero-Cruz, Executive Director and President of Women Against Abuse, emphasized that last year in Pennsylvania, 104 women died due to domestic violence, with 20 of these victims being from Philadelphia, more than in any other county in the Commonwealth.
“The vast majority, 60%, of these homicides were committed with firearms. It’s a grim picture, but we are not powerless in the violence that plagues our city. Together, we have the power to heal and build a better tomorrow.”
The event provided an opportunity to honor Lorina Marshall-Blake, President of Independence Blue Cross Foundation, and Vice President of the organization, for her legacy and her fight to make Philadelphia a safer and healthier city.
Amanda Parks, Leader of the Asset Protection Executive Team for Target, captured the audience by sharing a poignant story of how her team overcame the tragic loss of two colleagues due to gun violence and relationship abuse.
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To conclude this emotional, impactful, and moving event, guests enjoyed a resource fair made available by community partners and leaders in the movement to end gun violence in Philadelphia.
Women Against Abuse’s Invaluable Work
Women Against Abuse performs an unparalleled daily service. It is the nation’s largest domestic violence service provider, assisting over 10,000 individuals each year through emergency housing, legal services, hotline counseling, education, and advocacy. The organization also operates Philadelphia’s only domestic violence shelters and one of the nation’s first legal centers for domestic violence survivors.