Walk brings awareness to domestic violence

10th annual "A Walk in Their Shoes" held in Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va.- – According to Roanoke City police, the number of domestic violence-related deaths rose slightly from this time last year. 

Police said we can all be advocates for anyone suffering from domestic violence to stop the issue.

A rainy Friday afternoon didn't stop people from walking.

Each person participating in "A Walk in Their Shoes" wants to raise awareness about domestic violence.

"We want the families to remember their loved ones and we want the survivors to come to get resources," said Stacey Sheppard, director of Housing and Human Services. 

The "A Walk in Their Shoes" event happens once a year. For some, the pain of domestic violence never goes away. 
"At first, I couldn't speak about it or hear about it but it's gotten a lot easier," said Ashley Brogan, survivor of domestic violence. 

Ashley Brogan suffered severe abuse from her boyfriend. 

"I never thought that I would be stabbed multiple times and that a man would try to kill me for leaving him but I have the scars to prove it everyday," said Brogan. 

She found the courage to leave and made a promise to help others.

"Don't stay. Get out because it's not going to get any better. It's only going to get worse," she said. 

During the event, the names of those who died from domestic violence were read aloud while families or friends put their names on a tree in remembrance.

"I'm lucky to be here. I'm glad I'm not on the tree. It's a sad situation," said Brogan. 

She is now able to move on from her past. 

"I recently got married, in February to a guy I had known a long time ago. He's a great guy," said Brogan. 

Click here for resources on domestic violence assistance.