KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- More than 60 people gathered at the YWCA for the Purple and Persimmon Walk - remembering victims of domestic violence, and hoping to raise awareness about the problem.
With nothing but the sound of footsteps, participants were hoping to send a clear message: domestic violence needs to stop.
"The key to domestic violence is that people do not speak out. So that's really one of the symptoms of domestic violence. And walking in silence is to honor the victims - people who have lost their lives and people who are afraid to speak out," said Deanna Fults, a YWCA board of directors member.
Amy Ponder knows first hand how devastating domestic violence is. She walked in memory of her mother.
"My father murdered her 15 years ago - he's still on the run in Mexico somewhere," said Ponder.
Texas authorities are still searching for Rogelio Vasquez and he's one of America's Most Wanted. Ponder is hoping for closure and wishes she could somehow change what happened.
"I wish my mom would have been stronger and brave enough to have left and stayed gone - she'd leave and he'd convince her to come back. And it was really hard - I felt like I was protecting her my whole childhood," said Ponder.
Children from the YWCA's after school program lead the walk to showcase how kids are affected by the problem. Delphia Roper was in front - she said her mom was a domestic violence victim.
"We actually had to move in with my aunt for a couple of weeks. And then I had to miss a couple days of school to get my mind straight - I couldn't focus on work or anything," said Roper.
The mile-long walk wrapped up in Market Square, where people wrote their names in chalk to symbolize hope for victims.
If you're in a domestic violence situation and need help, you can contact the YWCA at (865) 523-6126.