T-shirts flapped in the wind, motorcycle engines roared and people gathered to raise awareness about domestic violence at the county courthouse Oct. 3.
The Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence Clothesline was on display throughout the day, partly on the lawn of the courthouse and partly in the Conway Fire Department next door. The fire department offered the space when bad weather threatened the display.
Volunteers, court employees, concerned citizens and members of Bikers Against Child Abuse gathered at the courthouse to witness the collection of T-shirts representing over 460 confirmed deaths due to domestic violence.
“One out of every four women at some point in their life is going to be abused physically by someone they’re supposed to be able to trust, someone they love who’s supposed to love them but doesn’t,” said Judge H. G. Foster. “It is a prevalent thing in our society.”
Foster — who has served as Faulkner County prosecutor, special state prosecutor and circuit court judge — said people in the county have risen up to help those facing domestic violence. This group includes a pro bono lawyer committee where lawyers volunteer to provide limited emergency legal services to those in need.
This committee, in addition to several other outreach and support committees, are “all spreading the word that it’s not okay to hit somebody who you’re supposed to love who can’t hit back,” Foster said.
The Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence — the nonprofit that brought the clothesline project — has served both rural and urban areas of Arkansas since it was started in 1981.
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