‘Walk a Mile’ in Covington raises awareness of domestic violence

COVINGTON, Georgia. – Handbags, diapers and more filled two rooms of the historic courthouse after more than 100 marchers did their part to bring supplies to victims and raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence on Saturday in Covington Square.

“Walk a Mile in their Shoes” encouraged participants to walk a mile – eight times around the perimeter of the park in Mid Square – to support victims on the eve of the close of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

The event, hosted by the Newton County Domestic Violence Task Force, also encouraged walkers to wear purple – the color commonly used to support those killed or injured by someone they love and in who they trusted.

District Attorney Randy McGinley was among those who took on Newton County President Marcello Banes’ challenge to try to walk a mile long in women’s shoes to support the effort to benefit the Project. renewal.

Organizers asked for donations of clothing, diapers, toiletries and other items that victims could use immediately rather than cash – although some money was donated, a said Ashley Dykes, director of the ReNeWal project.

“I’m just extremely grateful to the community,” Dykes said. “It was a great way to end Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

Other elected officials who attended or were present at the event included Sheriff Ezell Brown, Superior Court Judge Cheveda McCamy and County Commissioner Alana Sanders.

Members of the Eastside and Newton High School football teams marched, as did Victim Services Director Leslie Smith and victims lawyer Shay Payne of the Newton County District Attorney’s Office; and Assistant District Attorney Lacey Majors and Investigator Aimee Oliver of the Walton County Attorney’s Office.

Task Force Event Director Nwaka Hughes and Co-Chairs Debbie Hillman and Latonja Hamp helped lead “Walk a Mile”.

Hillman gave information and statistics on Saturday’s event and the issue of domestic violence to crowds of walkers and spectators.

Donors included Covington Trolley Tours, in addition to registered sponsors Dewindt Legal Services, Shekinah Counseling, PR Parties by Erica, Lindsey Firm, LRC Promotions, Police Who Care, Piedmont Newton & Women’s Services, Newton County NAACP, KNCB, She Ministries and Newton High school and high school football in Eastside, Hamp said.

Other registered sponsors included Rockdale-Newton NCNW; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Chi Tau Omega and Conyers / Covington Sections; Top Ladies of Distinction Inc. NewRock chapter; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Conyers / Covington Chapter; Omega Psi Phi Brotherhood Inc. Conyers / Covington; and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Conyers / Covington Alumni Chapter.

Banes and retired judge Samuel Ozburn formed the Newton County Domestic Violence Task Force in 2018.

Project ReNeWal is a domestic violence intervention program that has been in operation since 1995 and serves Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties.

Dikes and Project ReNeWal refuge manager Lauri Reeder and board member Aimee Oliver were also among the attendees on Saturday.

The non-profit organization operates an emergency shelter for victims, in addition to a crisis line and 24-hour response services, including providing food, temporary shelter, clothing and transport for victims of domestic violence and their families.

It also offers services – such as peer support groups and work placements – that can ensure victims are able to live without their abusers, Dykes said.

For more information, call 770-860-1666 or visit https://projectrenewalgeorgia.com.

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