'Brides' march for domestic violence abuse awareness

Sep 21, 2014 8:59 PM by Charlene Cheng

Here comes the bride, or in this case, brides.

To raise awareness for domestic violence, a non-profit organization called Homes of Hope invited participants to dress up in their best wedding attire and head to the Sundial Bridge.

"The event is named after a young woman back east that was shot to death by a former abusive boyfriend on her wedding day, in her wedding dress," said Homes of Hope co-founder Clyde Brandt.

Brandt and his wife, Carol, started Homes of Hope after seeing a family member in a domestic abuse situation that she couldn't get out of.

"Someone very close to us was involved in a domestic abuse marriage and we saw this person go through the cycle of leaving and going back and leaving and going back and they would go back because they couldn't provide a place to live for them and their children," Clyde said.

Domestic abuse is an undeniable problem in the United States, with an incident estimated to be taking place every eleven seconds.

"Shasta County has the largest number of domestic abuse issues of all the counties in California. The national statistic is that 1 in 4 women are currently a victim of domestic abuse or have been a victim of domestic abuse," Clyde said.

Mentor Vicki Allwardt has seen firsthand how hard it can be for victims to break out of the cycle.

"She had a whole house full of furniture and after mentoring several seconds with her, she decided she didn't want anymore help, and pretty much cut us off," she said.

Many victims do relapse, but knowing where to find help is the first step.

Our goal is to provide long term mentoring to make sure they're okay, to keep them thinking positively, and know there's a future and hope for them, that nobody deserves to be put down and continually controlled the way they are," Allwardt said.

If you or anyone you know is looking for help, you can contact Homes of Hope at (530) 347-1330.

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