Friday, April 30, 1999

Hundreds rally against violence

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Some shared stories of rape, incest and physical abuse; others were there in support of survivors of these crimes.

        All of the nearly 200 at the 10th Annual “Take Back the Night” march shared one objective: to end violence against women.

        “We're here to celebrate the people who survived the violence,” said Kendall Fisher, associate director of one of the rally's sponsors, Women Helping Women Inc. “We're here because we believe things can and will get better.”

        The event was one of two vigils held Thursday in the Tristate to honor victims and raise awareness of the lingering emotional pain caused by acts of violence.

        Shouting “Women unite. Take back the night,” Take Back the Night marchers began at Sawyer Point, marched along Pete Rose Way and across the Taylor-Southgate Bridge to the Campbell County Courthouse.

        “I lived in fear 61/2 years,” said Becky Andres-Glatting, a 45-year-old Mount Washington woman who said she was physically and mentally abused by her ex-husband.

        Her friend, Mike Shey, 26, also of Mount Washington, said he came to the rally to show his support.

        “These things shouldn't be going on, but they go on every day,” Mr. Shey said. “And a lot of it isn't seen.”

        Other abuse and assault survivors lined up to tell their stories and implore others to seek help and not give up. Kentucky poet Brenda Saylor read work inspired by her own childhood sexual abuse. MUSE, a Cincinnati women's choir, sang of women's strength and the need to stand against domestic vio lence.

        Earlier Thursday, about 25 people spoke, sang, marched and cried for loved ones who no longer can.

        As part of National Victims' Rights Week, those gathered at Cincinnati's po lice memorial on Ezzard Charles Drive spoke out for the victims of crimes.

        The central theme was giving victims a voice in the justice process, said Andrea

        Rehkamp, director of the Cincinnati chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and one of the organizers of the police memorial gathering.

        “Victims have no rights. We do not have a voice,” said Debbie Culberson at the police memorial gathering. “I hope this will change all that, but we need to speak loud and speak together.”

        Mrs. Culberson, of Blanchester, is the mother of Carrie Culberson, who disappeared in 1996. Carrie's boyfriend, Vincent Doan, was convicted in 1997 of murdering her and was sentenced to life in prison. Carrie's body has yet to be found.

        Along with the frustrations of losing a loved one, or suffering an injury at the hands of a criminal, victims too often are feeling shortchanged by the legal system, Ms. Rehkamp said.

        Many families of victims say they are not notified of parole hearings or even sentencings of the criminals who have caused them harm. The Culberson case had its own twist. Blanchester's former police chief, Richard Payton, accused of hampering the investigation, was fined and got a year's probation for dereliction of duty.

        Linda Pope, the wife of slain Cincinnati police Officer Daniel Pope, said she was neither notified of, nor allowed to speak at, an arbitration hearing for two police dispatchers working the night of her husband's death. They were accused of delaying rescue efforts to the scene after Officer Pope and police Spc. Ron Jeter were shot.

        “They said they wanted it to be impartial,” Mrs. Pope said. “But who spoke for the victim? No one.”


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