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Rally against domestic violence honors victims, calls for change

Planned for next Wednesday
Posted at 11:41 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 08:04:00-05

BALTIMORE — "Her spirit was so warming. She was helpful and loving," Sonya Chapple said.

Chapple is talking about her daughter India. The 26-year-old was stabbed to death in 2014. Police charged her ex-boyfriend with her murder.

"This is like a monster. We're fighting something that's out of the norm and it can't continue to happen," Kelly McGraw said.

McGraw's relative Ilana Jones was shot and killed last month in North Carolina. Her ex-boyfriend is charged with murdering the mother of three.

"They've can't believe their mother is gone. That's a process they will never be able to understand, " McGraw said.

The Baltimore women have since teamed up to organize a rally against domestic violence last week, after three more women lost their lives in domestic violence situations.

"I feel like I gotta do something. It's gotta get better," McGraw said.

Police say Taylor Webb was shot and killed by her ex.

MORE: Woman found shot to death in her car in Perry Hall

Kaylyn High was killed helping a friend escape an abusive boyfriend.

MORE: Community holds vigil for woman who was killed helping friend escape domestic violence

Jacquelyn Smith's husband and step-daughter are charged with her murder, after originally blaming the stabbing on a panhandler.

MORE: Husband and stepdaughter charged in murder of Good Samaritan Jacquelyn Smith

"We said we have to do something right now," Chapple said. "I would like for more men to step up to these young men. If they're on the street, don't be afraid, intervene. We've got to intervene. We've got to get their mindset changed to make a difference because that's where it's going to start."

Lisa Nitsch with House of Ruth agrees that the community holding people accountable is very important.

"The most helpful thing that friends and family can do is speak up while it's disrespectful, while it's verbal, you're humiliating your partner in front of someone else. We need people to be speaking up in those moments because relationships can go from verbal abuse to lethal levels of violence remarkably fast," Nitsch said.

It's a fact Kelly and Sonya know too painfully well. They're goal is to make sure another family doesn't have to go through the same heartbreak.

"There's a lot of work to be done and I'll strap my boots on. I'm ready," McGraw said.

The Rally Against Domestic Violence is next Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Pennsylvania and North Avenue. House of Ruth also has a 24-hour hotline for anyone who needs help: 410-889-RUTH (7884).

"We also need people to stay at the table with victims even when they choose to return to an abusive relationship. We know victims will attempt to leave an abusive relationship 5-7 times before they leave for good. We need to make sure that friends and family are taking that 5, that 6, that 7 call and that they're not completely isolated by the time they pick up the phone," Nitsch said.