‘Our journey is the same:’ Lexington women find companionship through social support groups

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A group of women in Lexington with one thing in common got together Saturday morning.

The people invited to the table were women affected by gun violence. They were aunts, mothers, sisters and wives of shooting victims.

Andrea Crocker thought of the idea. She said this social was the first in a long series and came with an open invitation.

“I have friends who are already sitting on this side of the table with me, they understand the 2 or 3 a.m. phone calls, but not everyone has that friend,” Crocker said.

His sons Johntel Desean Crocker and DaMycal Tre Bolton both died as a result of gun violence. Crocker enlisted the help of her friend, Tonya Lindsey, to get the socials started.

“My son was called Ezavion Lindsey, he was 16,” Lindsey said. She is president of Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence, a Lexington nonprofit organization that raises awareness about gun violence in the community.

The women were joined by individuals they often see at funerals. They have all been directly affected by armed violence.

“I try to get together with women on a happier note,” Crocker said. “The only time we seem to see each other, and these are people I have something in common with, is at anniversaries, anniversaries, things like that.”

Along with stacks of pancakes at iHOP, they find camaraderie.

“We hope that when we first come together, we’ll get to know each other better…so we can continue to build our own community,” Lindsey said.

Crocker said in the days, weeks and months following the loss, it was necessary to get support from people facing similar situations.

“I want it to be where we have the ability to give others the information they might need,” she said.

Crocker and Lindsey said socials will be a space where laughter is encouraged and meals come with an edge of vulnerability.

“I hope every time we meet, someone brings someone along,” Lindsey said.

If you have been affected by gun violence and would like to attend a social event, you can contact Tonya Lindsey by phone at 859-382-0052. You can also email her at [email protected] or contact her on the SWAG Facebook page.

Lindsey and Crocker wanted to thank Stephanie Jacobs, General Manager of iHOP on Palumbo Drive, for allowing the group to hold their party there.

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Virginia S. Braud