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Locals Preparing For Domestic Violence Awareness Event

Hundreds of men and women will strap on high heels to spread awareness on domestic violence- a subject that one local family knows too well.
Hundreds of men and women will strap on high heels to spread awareness on domestic violence- a subject that one local family knows too well.

"I miss her. I miss her like crazy. This year has been a year full of firsts for us. First birthdays without her, first Easters," Jessica Wallner said.

Jessica Wallner and her family have been on an emotional roller coaster for the past 10 months. She still remembers when she first heard the news about her cousin, Sara Lopez. Police say Sara's husband, an Alaska-based soldier, shot his wife two months after he returned from Afghanistan. It left their two-year-old daughter without a mother and her father in prison.

"It wasn't real. That it was a bad nightmare. Even now today it's not real," Jessica said.

Sara's parents had to fight to get full custody of Kaitlyn. At the end of February, Kaitlyn returned back home to Rochester.

"She is in preschool. She's got friends, and it's amazing to see her grow; to see how much she is like her mother, it's unbelievable," she said.

Now, Sara's friends and family want to help raise awareness against domestic violence.

"They need people to help them and support them and if we can save, even just one person, then our goal has been met," she said.

To raise funds for Alternatives for Battered Women, Sara's friends and family will walk in high heels, tutu's and purple shirts in her memory. To make a donation, click here.
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