Community gathered to remember relative and friend

TALLADEGA, AL (WBRC) - By Jonathan Hardison

TALLADEGA, AL (WBRC) - The family of a woman murdered at work by her ex-husband spoke Monday in hopes of helping others.

Shalanda Pope was killed while she was at her job at the Blue Bell creamery in Sylacauga in August.

"It's hard," said Pope's sister, Bridgette Franklin. "I want to call her every other day, it gets to me and I just know that she's not there, but it really hasn't sunk in."

Franklin says 2 months after Pope's murder, she still struggles to make sense of what lead up to her sister being killed at work.
"She would tell us a little but wouldn't tell us everything," Franklin said. "So when it all came out it was too late."
"I think a few close friends may have had more information then a lot of people did, but that seems to be the case in more and more situations that we're learning about," said Mindy Greer, one of Pope's co-workers at the plant.

Pope worked at the Blue Bell plant for 9 years and now that she's gone, her co-workers are trying hard to make sure this tragedy can be turned into something positive. "That's something we're trying to do is educate those at our facility so if something does come up where they can see a sign, then maybe we can avoid something like this in the future," Greer said.

"Its very important that we know about domestic violence," Franklin said. "It don't get a lot of attention and it really needs it. Everybody needs to know, everybody sweeps it under the rug, and that's not where it needs to be."

"It's there and it's out there, but our awareness has got to continue to increase so women will know there are services available and to make the batterers accountable," said Susan Shipman, director of 2nd Chances, an agency that helps domestic violence victims in Calhoun, Cleburne, Etowah, Talladega counties.

"I hope so, I really hope so," Franklin said. "I hope people will see this story, and if they're in a situation, get out, or try to get out."

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence and you need immediate help, you can call Alabama's domestic violence hotline
at 1-800-650-6522.

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