Dean Nance speaks at rallyFor those of you who might not know, October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Once a domestic-violence statistic myself, the issue is one I hold close to my heart, so I was honored to be asked to speak at the Domestic Violence Awareness Rally at the Benton County Courthouse.

There were a number of local prosecutors at the event—which, incidentally, was organized by an Arkansas alumnus, Van Stone—along with law enforcement officials. The Benton County Courthouse is home to many School of Law alums: Andrew “A.J.” Anglin, Arn Heese, Brandon Carter, Bryan Sexton, Chad Atwell, Clay Fowlkes, David Reading, Drew Ledbetter, Jay Moore, Joni Rose, Mike Armstrong, Nathan Smith and Shane Wilkinson.

The lawn of the courthouse was dotted with 215 American flags, one for each Arkansan woman who was the victim of a domestic-violence homicide over the past 10 years. It really put things into perspective, especially considering that Arkansas has one of the highest rates of domestic-violence homicide in the nation. During the rally, Neile Jones spoke about a personal tragedy that she had come to know about from being on the board of the Peace at Home Shelter, and the general tone of the whole crowd was very supportive. It was encouraging to see so many turn out to champion such an unsung—but very real—issue.