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Domestic Violence Awareness Month kicks off in Raleigh with vigil

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Leatta Welch remembers the first time she met her husband.

"He swept me off my feet. He knew all the rights things to say and was very romantic until ten days after we were married. Then he had his hands around my throat and was choking me," Welch said. "At another point, he had a pillow over my face, and he was telling me ‘See how much control I have?'"

That's why Welch attended a candlelight vigil earlier today at the Wake County Courthouse that honored victims of domestic violence.

Barry Bryant is a member of the Wake County Domestic Violence Task Force and has been working with victims for about 20 years. 

He said this month is about giving courage for women to come forward.

"It is terrorism in the home to me, because you're being held captive. You're being controlled economically, physically, verbally, emotionally," Bryant said. "We need more men involved."

State Senator Tamara Barringer said she normally shies away from the media but she wanted to give a voice to the voiceless and the children involved in domestic violence.

As a foster parent she said she's seen "broken bones, shaken babies, and children who've been strapped to car seats and locked in dark closets." Barringer said she has seen things that she wishes she hadn't but she can not remain silent.

Tuesday's vigil highlights some disturbing statistics. According to domestic violence advocates, three women die every day as a result of the crime and nearly one in every four women are beaten or raped by a partner.

If you or anyone you know – is affected by domestic violence, visit this website with a list of resources in North Carolina.  

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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