Marquette Women's Center holds kickoff event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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The walk is created to remember those who have lost their lives due to domestic violence, honor those that are still struggling to make a way and celebrate those that have broken the cycle. The majority of cases of domestic violence are never reported to law enforcement.

The awareness is a month-long activity aimed at spotlighting support for ending domestic violence and sexual assault.

Monique Bell, a victims advocate with the ACSO, said Abbeville County is not immune.

While loss of life is the greatest and most valuable price to pay, we know that hundreds suffer in silence.

"As the state agency that houses a domestic violence program, we are honored to be a part of this ceremony", said DES Director Michael Trailor.

Dillon works as the Event Coordinator for the Shelter for Help in Emergency.

Castro said she was speechless.

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Greenwood noted the vigils also serve the goal of allowing victims to know that at CFJ there is a safe place, close to home, where they can receive free and comprehensive services. "It's also good meeting people from other nonprofit agencies".

"Domestic violence is a crime that has no boundaries". Chief Kral anticipates the department's domestic violence-related calls will be over 15,000 this year, he said Wednesday.

Have a problem? Know someone who does? 1,050 of those were victims of domestic violence.

Castro said because of Igitol, her mother and other mothers, she chose to continue to share her story so no parents and family members would suffer the same thing.

Bell said she welcomes survivors to come to speak to her - regardless of whether or not they want to pursue charges - so she can assist them in getting out of a unsafe situation.

"I think a lot of people don't reach out because they feel like they're the only person this has ever happened to. 'So, if you don't do what I want you to do, I'm going to take the children and I'm going to leave the country and you'll never see them again'". I have an open-door policy. That includes developing safety plans for victims to get out of an abusive relationship safely.

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