NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Saturday, the Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence held its annual Meet Us at the Bridge event.
The annual ceremony recognizes Nashvillians working to combat domestic violence. It is held each year at the beginning of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The ceremony took place on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. This year’s event also honored 10 women who lost their lives to domestic violence.
Judge Gale Robinson, who was honored at the ceremony, said, “Across the board, not just in Nashville, nationally, domestic violence makes up one-third of the crime rate.”
Judge Robinson has advocated for victims for 25 years and is one of three judges who hears domestic violence cases in Nashville.
One of the most high profile victims honored was Metro Public Health Epidemiologist Dr. Sandra Thomas-Trudo, MD. Her colleagues gathered on the bridge Saturday. Click here to read more about Dr. Thomas-Trudo.
Director of the Metro Public Health Department Dr. Bill Paul dropped a rose into the Cumberland River in her honor as part of the ceremony.
“Even now it’s really hard to make sense of something like that. It took us a while to come to grips with what she must have been going through,” Dr. Paul said.
Kathy Hurley was honored as the “Survivor of the Year.” She was able to walk away from an abusive relationship more than a decade ago, and today she counsels other victims through the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center.
“Domestic violence is really a very complicated scenario that involves verbal abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, being taunted and bullied, being lied to and manipulated, and that’s a part of what kept me trapped in that marriage,” explained Hurley.
Her message to victims: It’s never your fault, it’s never your fault that it started.