Crime

University of Kentucky football coach Stoops lends support to campaign against domestic violence

Diana Ross, mother of Amanda Ross stood by family spokesman Dale Emmons as he made a brief statement to the media at Fayette Circuit Court in Lexington Tuesday. Former state lawmaker Steve Nunn pleaded guilty to murder with aggravating circumstances in the 2009 death of Amanda Ross in Lexington. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff
Diana Ross, mother of Amanda Ross stood by family spokesman Dale Emmons as he made a brief statement to the media at Fayette Circuit Court in Lexington Tuesday. Former state lawmaker Steve Nunn pleaded guilty to murder with aggravating circumstances in the 2009 death of Amanda Ross in Lexington. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

The Fayette County Sheriff's Office, Lexington officials and University of Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops launched a campaign and a public-service announcement Friday condemning domestic violence and supporting its victims.

Sheriff Kathy Witt, flanked by deputies, and Diana Ross, the mother of domestic-violence victim Amanda Ross, announced the creation of the PSA at the district courthouse to represent October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The campaign, "Stand Up, Speak Up," and the PSA encourage "the victims of domestic violence and others who know someone who needs help to speak up, to stand up, in the battle against domestic violence," including on college campuses, Witt said.

During the news conference, Witt praised the support of Diana Ross in the creation of the Amanda Center in 2009. The center — named after Amanda Ross, who was killed by her fiancé, former state lawmaker Steve Nunn, in 2009 — is a 24-hour point of contact for domestic-violence victims.

Diana Ross, who became a domestic-violence activist after her daughter's death, said her experience has given her a "voice to promote this cause in honor of Amanda and to stop the violence."

Witt said she hopes that the campaign and the PSA will help saturate Lexington with information on victim safety and resources.

"Together, Mrs. Ross and Coach Stoops are sending a message that domestic violence will not be tolerated, and that there's help," she said.

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