• DV supporters walk in honor of 2 women killed last week

    By: Scott Wickersham


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A crowd walked through Charlotte uptown Thursday carrying signs and wearing purple ribbons to remember two Charlotte women now murder victims of domestic violence.

    It was a somber march around the square at Trade and Tryon streets with signs and memories of two women taken too soon.

    Mara Garcia was found dismembered in a car in Hidden Valley Sunday.

    Police said she was killed by her boyfriend who then killed himself.

    Police said Marcia Winningham’s estranged husband shot and killed her last Friday and injured two others.

    Patricia Wade marched because Winningham taught her daughter at Hopewell High School.

    In a case of cruel irony, Wade told Channel 9 her band was playing a concert to raise awareness of domestic violence the night she found out Winningham was killed.

    “When they said it was her we couldn’t believe they were talking about the same person,” Wade said.

    Wade described Winningham as a loving person, who children flocked to.

    “I really couldn’t see her being in that situation, where someone would want to harm her,” said Wade.

    Advocates said these women need to know there is a way out.

    “The sad reality is these thing don’t just happen,” said Mecklenburg County Women’s Commission representative Mike Sexton.  “These women probably endured abuse, maybe for all of the relationship.”

    Friends could have offered to help.

    “If they became aware of what the red flags are, they can realize that and be of help,” said Marsha Stickler.

    That’s why these marchers hope the sign they hold today will help someone spot the signs of domestic abuse tomorrow.

    Garcia and Winningham were the second and third domestic homicides this year.

    There were seven in 2012.

    For more information on the effects of domestic violence in our community, call Mecklenburg County's Community Support Services Women's Commission at 704-336-3210 or the Shelter for Battered Women's 24-hour hotline at 704-332-2513.

    October is domestic violence awareness month. Check out the calendar of events for ways to get involved here.

    Other resources:

    Mecklenburg County Community Support Services

    Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau

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