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Dozens march through downtown Richmond: ‘I can’t let them die in vain’

RICHMOND, Va. — Dozens marched through downtown Richmond Sunday to put an end to domestic violence.

Eddie Wyatt founded Dad’s Against Domestic Violence in memory of his daughter Renita Wells and 15-year-old grandson Jaishaun Williams.

The Henrico mother and son were found shot in their home in November. The family said it was the result of domestic violence. Less than an hour after the shooting, Virginia State Police arrested Wells’ husband Derrell Williams on I-64 in New Kent after troopers said he ran from them. He is being held on unrelated charges.

“By me being a father of two victims, I just thought I had to reach out to other people. I couldn’t save their lives, [but] maybe I can save somebody else’s life by forming this group,” Eddie Wyatt said. “I’m going to continue, continue until justice be served for my daughter and whoever else kids have been murdered in domestic violence.”

More than 50 people marched from Gilpin Court to the John Marshall Courthouse wearing purple. The color is meant to be a symbol of peace.

“I will not be silenced about domestic violence,” they chanted. “No peace, no justice” and “love don’t hurt.”

Wyatt is hoping that by sharing his tragedy it will prevent another.

“If I see any signs of it, I won’t stay with that person and [I will] get away from them,” said 15-year-old marcher Harley Groome.

“You have to speak up on it. You could be a neighbor hearing your neighbor fight, so intervene," marcher ​Darryl Standberry said. "That could save lives as well.”

Wyatt says the progress he hopes for in the fight against domestic violence would make his daughter and grandson proud.

“I can’t let them die in vain. Them dying in vain is not an option for me,” Wyatt said.

If you or someone you know are a victim of domestic violence, click here for resources from the Virginia Department of Social Services. ​