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Family rallies to end abuse through local organizations

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 12:31 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - “I just want to create a safer community. And I know it might not be completely doable in my time, but I’m going to do whatever I can, every day that I wake,” says Rochelle S. Morrishaw.

Morrishaw is the founder and CEO of Women Helping & Encouraging Women (WHEW), a non-profit that supports abuse victims.

“Women Helping and Encouraging Women was born out of a desire to give people services that me and my mom didn’t have when we were victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” says Morrishaw.

One of WHEW’s campaigns is Stand Oneness Facing Real Abusers (SOFRA), which teaches people how to recognize and stop abuse. The family has pledged to set up and chant on Monroe Street every Sunday for 20 Sundays. And the children keep it going.

“I’ve had days when I’ve wanted to give up, and they will get up and pack the van, like, No, you started this, you’re going to finish this. You’re going to make it through,” says Morrishaw.

Her children founded Teens Inspiring Kids (TIK) and now run a summer camp in partnership with Toledo Public Schools.

“Me and my siblings, we got together in the living room and said we wanted to do something like what my mom is doing. Helping people,” says Jah’Lema Pitman, TIK board member and Morrisaw’s daughter.

Three generations are there on Sunday afternoon, marching for change, proving that helping people is truly a family affair.

“My mom helps with domestic violence,” says Morrisaw’s youngest daughter, seven-year-old Jah’ Nique Williams.

Williams says her mom is a hero.

The family sets up in the Swayne Field Shopping Center parking lot from 3:30-6:30 p.m. They encourage anyone who wants to work to end crime, violence, and abuse to join in.

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