On Wednesday, Whit Whitaker’s plea was easy to understand. “We can’t keep quiet any longer,” Whitaker said. “More people will die if we don’t do something before it’s too late.” The executive director of the Lyric Theatre, Whitaker, is part of a new public push to deal with domestic violence.
This year, the number of homicides in the city caused by domestic violence increased. So far, there have been 39 murders, and 12 of them are thought to have been caused by domestic violence.
“We didn’t have any last year at this time,” said Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton at a press conference on Wednesday to announce the new project. “Time to.” Whitaker has also been hurt by violence in the home. Whitaker said, “It gets old.” “There are people who don’t say anything. Protecting the victims is essential for them too. If you see or hear something, say or do something about it.
Gorton said the city is also encouraging victims to call the city’s 3-1-1 system if they need help. The videos feature well-known people from the area, like chef Ouita Michel and Everett McCorvey, the director of the opera program at the University of Kentucky.
Gorton said that the 3-1-1 system is easy to remember and that city officials can then put victims in touch with the help they need, whether it’s a shelter or the police. Gorton said, “Domestic violence happens alone a lot of the time.” “We’ll need the whole community to speak up and say, “It’s time, Lexington,” including judges, lawyers, survivors, prosecutors, and residents.”
According to Stephanie Theakston, director of the city’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition, the launch of the “It’s Time” public awareness campaign on Wednesday is the first phase of a multi-pronged approach to raising awareness about domestic violence. The campaign will focus on educating the public about the severity of the issue.
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The second phase, which will start in January and focus on stimulating talks about domestic abuse in businesses, houses of worship, and other locations throughout the city, will focus on having an honest debate about the issue citywide.
The third phase will require employees to take positive steps, such as agreeing to be in a workplace that supports domestic abuse survivors and bringing training to know how to assist in instances involving domestic violence. Theakston added that it is past the time to stop blaming victims or the actions of victims.
Theakston advised those who had been the victims of domestic violence that “leaving is a process.” Additionally, almost everyone is familiar with someone who has been the aggressor in a domestic violence situation. Abuse within one’s own home is not a private matter.
According to Theakston, this is an issue that affects the community. Additionally, itstimelexington.org, a new website designed to assist people in having tough talks about domestic violence, was recently created by the city.
This year there have been many victims involved in some of the homicides that were caused by domestic violence. Steven Rubert Wilson, 64 years old, was arrested and accused of three counts of murder and domestic violence in May. Lisa Wilson, age 65, Bryony Wilson, age 42, and Bronwyn Wilson, age 38, were the three people killed.
A citation for Steven Wilson’s arrest submitted to the Fayette District Court states that the victims were Wilson’s wife and their two daughters. According to the documents from the court, he shot them with a handgun. Nikki James was apprehended and charged with murder and domestic violence in May after she was reportedly responsible for the stabbing deaths of her two children, Deon Williams, 13, and Skyler Williams, 5.
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