Here Come the Brides
More than 300 people participated Feb. 11 in Barry's first-ever College Brides Walk. The nationally-recognized event raises awareness of domestic and dating violence. Hundreds, dressed in bridal gowns and tuxedos, walked 7.5 miles from the University's Miami Shores campus to North Miami and back. The event included opening remarks from Josie Ashton, creator of The Bride's March, which began as a 1,300-mile journey in a wedding gown to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Groups from all across South Florida participated, including Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Johnson and Wales, Lynn University, Broward College, No More Tears, Women in Distress, Sisterhood of Survivors, and Safe Schools South Florida. Barry Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology Laura Finley and her students helped children from Gratigny Elementary School create banners and T-shirts with messages of nonviolence that hung on their school's fence as participants in the College Brides Walk passed by.
The latest statistical report from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence concluded that nearly all violent crime is down in the state, but domestic violence incidents increased 3.7 percent. Domestic violence-related murders increased 15.6 percent from last year, while domestic violence manslaughter increased 71.4 percent. Forty percent of all violent crimes were domestic violence-related, and 20 percent of all murders were domestic violence-related.