Though postponed, Prince George’s Co. bike ride still pushes for domestic violence awareness

The fourth annual Purple Bike Ride for Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention was postponed Saturday morning due to rain.

The event was set to happen in Bowie, Maryland. Even though the event was postponed, Prince George’s County is still adamant that victims know how they can come forward for help.

“There’s lots of reasons why people don’t share this very important information with others who love them. There’s shame,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said.

She added that this event is personal for her, as she lost her 26-year-old cousin to domestic violence.

“She never shared with me the abuse she was facing,” Braveboy said. “And I wish I would have known.”

Braveboy and her office now work to provide services to other victims of domestic violence. They have strengthened the laws, including making strangulation, which is one of the deadliest forms of domestic violence, a first-degree felony offense.

Another family in the D.C. area is mourning a member that was the victim of abuse. D.C. resident Patricia Johnson, 52, was shot and killed, allegedly by her abusive boyfriend. D.C. police said she accused her boyfriend of abusing her and tried to separate from him by obtaining a protective order.

Braveboy said that her office helps victims obtain protective orders as well as file criminal complaints. However, if they want to remain anonymous and just seek services, like housing or counseling, that is also an option for them.

“The important thing is to just reach out, just to reach out. To connect with someone who cares.” Braveboy said. “Escape plans are important.”

Numbers that victims and families can call include:

  • Victim witness response unit — 301-267-3447, which is open 24/7
  • Family justice center — 301-780-8008
  • Domestic violence hotline — 1-800-799-7233

If in immediate danger, call 911.

The new date for the bike ride is Saturday, Oct. 21.

Heather Gustafson

Heather Gustafson is a Freelance Anchor/Reporter for WTOP, a DMV native and an Emmy award-winning journalist lauded for her 2020 Black Lives Matter protests coverage.

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