Cleveland women organize march against violence and rash of home break-ins on city's east side

March set for Sept. 28 at Luke Easter Park

CLEVELAND - Dozens of Cleveland women have organized a protest march against what they call growing violence against women.

The march is named "Stop the Killing, Stop the Stealing" is set to take place on Sept. 28, at Luke Easter Park on Cleveland's east side.

March organizer Ayisha Walton told NewsChannel5 she's been a victim of the growing violence that has struck several women in her neighborhood over the past several months.

"We're dealing with men breaking into our homes stealing flat screen televisions, computers," Walton said. "There's a lot of rape that is going on in our communities, a lot of women are turning up dead in our community. We would like to know what's going on in the inner city of Cleveland and we need help."

Walton urged residents to get involved and not just rely on the police to be the "eyes and ears" of the community.

"When you see something going on in your communities, don't be afraid to call the police," Walton said."You don't have to let them know who you are, but call and let them know that something is going on in your community."

Vernell Young, associate pastor at Cleveland's Manna Church, also blamed the violence on the city's large number of abandoned homes.

"Well, it's a place where people go and they set up these crack houses," Young said. "They go in there and they get high and then if they want to commit a crime, or snatch a kid, or snatch a woman, or a man and take them in there and do what they want to do with them."

"People are not looking at those homes as they're occupied. They're looking at them as they're abandoned, so we really need to get rid of those abandoned houses."

Gregory Terrell with Cleveland's Black National Society for Non-Violent Change will also have his organization take part in the protest march.

"We need to stop all this madness that's going on in our community," Terrell said. "What we need is men to step up and protect our women. What we're tired of men putting our women in plastic bags in empty houses, abandoned houses, and raping them."

Terrell made reference to several bodies discovered on Cleveland's east side and in East Cleveland, so far in 2013, including the bodies 54-year-old Earl Norman and 39-year-old Monica Curry found on Sept 17.

The "Stop the Killing, Stop the Stealing" March will start at 10 a.m. on Sept. 28.

NewsChannel5's Building Better Neighborhoods is also trying to activate residents in their neighborhoods.

Information on how to organize a neighborhood block club can be found in the Building Better Neighborhoods Volunteer Tool Kit.

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