Agencies raise awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness month

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and there are several organizations in the Triangle working to bring awareness and resources for survivors.

"We so often assume domestic violence is about physical violence, where it's very much a multitude of ways in which the abuser seeks to exercise power and control over their victim," said Nisha Williams, who works with the NC Coalition for Domestic Violence and this month is working to curb the stigma surrounding the issue.

"We want folks to really talk to their families, their friends, their coworkers about how has domestic violence has impacted your lives. And because what we know is that there are so many people that are impacted every day, and they're not talking to their friends and families," she said.

Their campaign this year is "Everyone knows someone" in hopes of opening the conversation and highlighting resources before survivors become victims

According to the State Bureau of Investigation, in North Carolina in 2020 there were 134 homicide victims related to domestic violence which was a nearly 25 percent increase from 2019.

"That service provider can provide them with assistance, be it emergency shelter, be it some type of information on how to transition financially out of a two-income household, right, though all those things are essential in helping the survivor leave," Williams said.

InterAct of Wake County is another resource working to help domestic violence survivors in the area.

"Last year, we served about 6,300 individuals interact throughout our year with services for domestic and sexual violence," he said. "And so, that averages about 18 people a day. And of those 18, about four of them each day have screened in at high risk, which means they are at greater risk of immediate injury or even death," said Joshua Littlejohn of InterAct.

Littlejohn said this month is their awareness month, but the work they are doing is to protect people year-round and is a great resource for loved ones who may not know what to do

"InterAct is available 24/7 to help victims and survivors as well as those who may know a victim or survivor help walk them through how to support them, so our first suggestion is always to let them know that you believe them and that you're there for them as well as connecting them with an organization like InterAct," he said.

If you would like more information on events being held this month or resources for you or a loved one click here (https://interactofwake.org/) for InterAct and here (https://nccadv.org/) for The NC Coalition of Domestic Violence
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