HARRODSBURG — Though it has been more than three years since Amanda Ross was murdered by her estranged fiance Stephen Nunn, State Rep. Kim King still remembers clearly where she was and how emotionally devastated she felt when she heard the news.
King, R-Harrodsburg, was one of about 60 people who attended the “Silence Hides Violence” domestic violence awareness luncheon at St. Peter’s AME Church in Harrodsburg on Saturday.
Jessica Browning, a member of St. Peter's AME Church, and Susie Bates, a member of the, organized the event to help promote October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“We want to enlighten people in the area that victims of abuse don’t have to continue in that environment,” said Sherry Green, pastor of Craig Chapel AME in Salvisa and one of the attendees of Saturday's event. “People can provide support and resources for help.”
“I also want to give people out there who may be victims of domestic violence the strength to leave and know that they’re not the only ones who have suffered,” Green said. “There is help.”
Many of the attendees, which included people of both genders, all ages and several ethnicities, wore at least one item of purple — the official color of the anti-domestic violence cause.
Diana Ross of Lexington, Amanda Ross’ mother, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon. In an interview before her speech, Diana Ross said she never imagined that she would become a domestic violence awareness speaker.
“I think it’s important to make people more aware that domestic violence can happen to anyone and better show them how to recognize the cycle of power and control abusive partners have over a person,” Ross said. “Amanda and I were very close, but she hid being abused from even me for at least a year.”
Nunn, a former state representative and the son of ex-governor Louie Nunn, eventually pleaded guilty to shooting and killing Amanda Ross outside of her Lexington apartment in Sept. 2009. Under tougher domestic violence laws that he helped create, Nunn could have faced the death penalty. However, he pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of life imprisonment without a possibility for parole.
“I personally think the life sentence rather than the execution is good for him,” Ross said.
“Now he has to wake up every day, know where he is and why.”