DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The North Texas weather is cool and rainy, but organizers are hoping the conditions will do little to stop thousands from gathering at Dallas City Hall. NFL Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach are among those expected to attend a rally imploring men to stop domestic violence.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ office expects thousands of people to attend the “Men Against Abuse” rally on Saturday. Rawlings has waged a public campaign against domestic violence after a series of high-profile crimes in which female victims were killed or attacked, allegedly by men.
Rawlings first began speaking about the issue of domestic violence in January, after a Dallas man was arrested for stabbing his wife to death in the parking garage of UT Southwestern Medical Center. Police say victim Karen Smith had had a violent relationship with her estranged husband. Then, just days before Valentine’s Day, Rawlings spearheaded the ‘man up’ campaign.
“I’m a big cheerleader, as you can hear me, about the City of Dallas, and there’s so many positive things happening,” Rawlings said. “It’s tough, though, for me to revel in the joy of that when I realize behind close doors there’s so much terror.”
Rawlings admitted he has close family members who have been victims of domestic violence.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.
Rawlings has taped a public service announcement in which he says real men don’t hit women or condone domestic violence.
He says he feels a responsibility to reduce crime and make Dallas safer.
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