Charlotte virtual town hall takes on issues of domestic violence

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The delivery of a Charlotte town hall meeting came through modern day technology. However, facilitators were looking for a vibe of tenderness.

City council member Braxton Winston was the driving force behind this virtual town hall meeting taking on the issue of domestic violence.

"This is an issue that we have to attack head on," Winston said.

As the chief legal officer of Safe Alliance, Laura Lawrence's organization brings sanctuary to the unsheltered.

"We do have a crisis. We have serious issues in Mecklenburg County," Lawrence said.

However, changing times for one group may reduce a sense of urgency in times of need.

Atenas Burrola is with the Latin America Coalition and says many crimes of abuse are not reported because victims fear deportation.

"A huge part of it is fear of immigration consequences both for the victim and for the abuser," Burrola said.

Audience members like Dr. Angelia Riggsbee offered living testimony.

She heads up a domestic violence support group, and is a 26-year survivor.

"There's the shame and embarrassment of not wanting people to know what you're going through," Riggsbee said.

Councilman Winston calls this conversation just the tip of the iceberg, and remains alarmed at the connection between real life stories and what first responders find.

"When we see the homicide rates from last year, and the proportions of it. It's scary," he said.

During the first hour of Facebook live, the town hall meeting had more than 2,100 pages views.

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