DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham Crisis Response Center (DCRV) is seeing record increases in calls to its domestic violence hotline. Staffers said this comes as funding cuts make it difficult to meet the needs of the community.
"Domestic violence can be extremely deadly," said Damien Tally, executive director of the Durham Crisis Response Center. "Lives are at stake. The more funding gets cut, the more unstable our ability is to provide the services we need. We could definitely see an increase in homicides."
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. The numbers show that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience physical violence by an intimate partner. There are more than 20,000 phone calls placed every day to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
Last week in Cary, police responded to a domestic violence shooting call. Two weeks ago in Durham, Duke University graduate student Angela Risi was killed. Neighbors said her boyfriend allegedly pulled the trigger.
This kind of abuse isn't limited to an intimate partner.
"It could be a roommate, a parent, a grandparent, a friend, a former partner," said Ezza Alam, crisis services manager at DCRC.
She helps domestic violence victims become survivors. The pleas she hears on a daily basis are harrowing.
"Sometimes they'll just say I'm scared of what they'll do. I'm scared they have a gun in the house and I'm afraid they're going to use it," she said.
Experts say domestic violence is about power and control. It could happen to anyone, including you. The abuse could turn deadly. That's why it's critical to spot red flags.
"Outside of control, there's isolation. That's a big one. If you're with an abusive partner, they will try to isolate them from friends and family," said Alam.
An event to bring attention and awareness to domestic violence in Durham is being held on Tuesday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. The candlelight vigil is being hosted by 'StandUp-SpeakOut NC'