A Safe Home for Everyone (ASHE), in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, takes to the streets of West Jefferson this Saturday for a “unity walk” in support of victims and survivors of domestic violence.
“The theme is showing unity against violence in our community,” said ASHE Program Director Robin Falkner. “This is an issue locally and it’s our responsibility to do something about it.”
ASHE’s Domestic Violence Awareness Walk is a response to the Aug. 9 death of Miranda Ann Wiles of Laurel Springs, who was allegedly run down by her boyfriend Jacob Edwin Johnson in a domestic dispute that ended in homicide by vehicle.
“The events on the 28th are in honor of Wiles and other local victims,” Falkner said.
“There is a lethal component to intimate partner violence. There have been 26 domestic violence homicides in N.C. this year,” she said.
Participants in the walk will gather at the Ashe Women’s Center 1 p.m. Sept. 28 to paint banners. Suggested materials to bring are purple ribbon and streamers, paint brushes and sponges and purple fabric of different shades.
At 2:30 p.m., participants will walk through downtown West Jefferson, pausing for a moment of silence at a “Victim’s Shoes Display” in front of Mo’s Boots, and again at a memorial set up in front of the West Jefferson Police Department.
At 4 p.m., the walk will stop at the Hotel Tavern to hear guest speakers West Jefferson Police Chief Jeff Rose and domestic violence survivor and ASHE Volunteer Mary Hanewald.
From 5-8 p.m., walkers will dine at the Hotel Tavern to raise funds for the ASHE program.
The Hotel Tavern is one of six local restaurants participating in ASHE’s Dine to Donate fundraising event. A portion of all sales will be donated by these restaurants on the following dates:
The Hotel Tavern — 5-8 p.m. Sept. 28
Smoky Mountain Barbecue — anytime Oct. 1-11
Shatley Springs Inn — 4-9 p.m. Oct. 4
Sweet ‘n Savory — 11:30-3:00 p.m. Oct. 15
Boondocks Brewing — 5-9 p.m. Oct. 15
Pizza Hut — 5-8 p.m. Oct. 21
“United Against Domestic Violence t-shirts will be available for purchase for $10-15 the day of the event, and throughout the month of October at Threads of Hope.
ASHE will offer free volunteer advocate training 8:30-3:30 p.m. Oct. 19. Training is focused on domestic violence basics, working with survivors and volunteer opportunities. Lunch is provided.
ASHE’s mission is “ending domestic violence and sexual assault in Ashe County through empowerment, support and education.”
For more information on any of the events or to register for advocate training, contact Robin Falkner at 336.982.8851.