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On October 6, 2008, domestic violence programs, government officials, survivors and their families commemorated National Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the Colorado State Capitol with “A Walk in Her Shoes” rally. Speakers at the rally celebrated “A Walk Then” – the history of Colorado’s domestic violence awareness and prevention movement – and “A Walk Now” – where this movement is headed.

According to Project Safeguard, 49 people died as a result of domestic violence in Colorado in 2007. From 2000-2007, 19 children were killed during an incident of domestic violence. These staggering statistics indicate a need for all Coloradans to take a stand against domestic violence.

Following calls from other speakers for increased awareness of the effects of domestic violence, Rich Batten, administrator of the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, announced the launch of the Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign. This campaign is asking men to sign a pledge of declaration stating that they will take a stand against domestic violence. By building an active community of men who sign the pledge form online at at social service and community organizations statewide, CMADV hopes to also educate young men on what it really means to be a man and act as a resource and referral source for local programs.

“Only by making the commitment to do no harm and educate young men on the importance of family safety can men help end the cycle of violence,” remarked Batten.

Shoes decorated by domestic violence survivors representing their strength and character were displayed on the Capitol lawn during the rally. Shoes donated by others in recognition of the event were also displayed.