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Walking in her shoes raises awareness for domestic violence

Updated: Saturday, June 21 2014, 08:08 PM EDT

By: Jackalyn Kovac

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- For the fourth year, dozens of people took a walk to spread awareness for domestic violence.

"[Domestic violence] is an epidemic that is growing and it doesn't know rich, poor, black, white, educational background. It affects everybody," said Gregory Jones.

The group, Walking in Her Shoes, spreads the word by walking from the Greater Johnstown High School to Central Park in downtown Johnstown.

This year the group introduced Walk the Beat, aimed at men in turbulent relationships. Both groups look to help victims and their families.

"Walking in Her Shoes have actually been out there helping families of victims. They've helped with funeral arrangements. They've helped anyway they could possibly do so," said Valerie Dixon.

Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffry Lees and Katelyn Clem from the Women's Help Center in Johnstown spoke to the crowd downtown.

According to Lees, three people from the Johnstown area have died from domestic violence in 2014.

Advocates are hopeful events like this one will wake others up to what's going on around them.

"It's like there's a code of silence. Like they're not gonna tell, they're gonna be a snitch and it's really not helping anybody because while you're being quiet, your being silent, these crimes are continuing and these people are still on the street," Dixon said.

Shirts are being sold at events and online at to help victims and their families.

Walking in her shoes raises awareness for domestic violence

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times