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'Rock Against Violence' Gets the Word Out About Domestic Abuse

First Step's annual 'Rock Against Violence' event raises awareness about domestic violence, while raising money for First Steps programs.
If you were driving by the Big Lots parking lot in Wichita Falls on Saturday you may have seen first step volunteers rocking their way through the morning at the annual 'Rock against Violence' event.

First step is a non-profit organization that seeks to help those who are victims of domestic abuse.

This is the fifth year that the organization hosted the rock against violence event in order to raise money and awareness.

First Step volunteers say it's something no one should have to face.

"I was a victim of domestic abuse and sexual assault," Carlan Thomas, First Step volunteer, says. 

For Wichita Falls resident Carlan Thomas, it wasn't easy, which is why she spent her Saturday helping spread the word about domestic abuse at First Step's Rock Against Violence fundraiser.

"I really wanted to give back because they helped me come from crisis and chaos to normalcy. And they made me feel normal and loved again," Thomas says.
 
That's the non-profit's goal, to help those who face any form of abuse feel loved, give them a place to stay if they need it, and get them back on their feet.

"It is amazing that 1 in 4-5 women have been in some sort of abuse. Whether it's verbal, physical, sexual, violence of any nature," Board president Donna Landis says. 

Which is why board members and volunteers say they're so passionate about what they do.

Thomas says she is passionate about spreading the word in the community so that no one else would have to face what she went through.

"I kept quiet for seven years, i didn't say anything. I know there's other women out there looking at the statistics there's a lot of women willing to keep it secret because of the shame," Thomas says. 

Organizers say the annual Rock Against Violence event not only raises money for first step programs, but more importantly raises awareness for the growing problem of domestic violence.

The event takes place every year around the Fourth of July weekend and organizers say it's a great way to make the community aware and also raise money to better the first step programs.

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