FARMINGTON — The 15th annual March for Violence-Free Communities was held Thursday evening in Farmington.

It was sponsored by Peace In Our Families Coalition. Participants gathered at Meetinghouse Park to march down Main Street, across Broadway, down High Street, across South Street back to Main and ended at the Old South Congregational Church. Sheriff Dennis Pike led the procession.

At the church, Jim Mello, a substance-abuse counselor and co-facilitator of a Sexual Assault Victims Emergency Services men’s group, was the guest speaker.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

People were also given a chance to speak out about their experiences, feelings and thoughts about the issues that Peace In Our Families Coalition deals with in Franklin County.

The coalition includes the Franklin County Children’s Task Force, the Healthy Community Coalition, Safe Voices and SAVES.

Representing the Children’s Task Force, Executive Director Renee Blanchet said she was there because children are affected by family violence.

“Healthy families breed healthy kids,” she said.

Peace In Our Families seeks to reduce the incidents and severity of child abuse, domestic assault and sexual assault while working to change cultural beliefs and behaviors and promote healthy relationships.

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