GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. On Thursday, the Center for Family Violence Prevention and Pitt County law enforcement held a special candlelight vigil to remember victims of domestic violence.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. That’s more than 10 million people per year.

“One in three women suffer some type of abuse in their lifetime,” said Laura King, Executive Director for the Center for Family Violence Prevention. “The statistics on men seem to vary a little bit. I’ve heard between one and five or one in eight men, men are less likely to come forward. But it’s a pervasive problem.”

Inside the Pitt County Courthouse, people wore purple and purple ribbons for domestic violence awareness. Ornaments with victims’ names hung on a purple-lit tree and candles filled the room to recognize those who lost their lives to domestic violence in Pitt County.

“There have been 56 domestic violence homicide victims in Pitt County since the year 2000. And that’s 56 too many. And like I said earlier, I’d like to come back to this event next year without having added another single name,” said King.

King said there’s help for those experiencing domestic violence.

“There’s help. Law enforcement in this community in particular, is very strongly supportive and protective of domestic violence victims. And then there’s our own agency who provides safe shelter, court services assistance in protective orders and filing criminal charges, if the victim chooses to do that,” said King.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can call the 24-hour crisis line at 252-752-3811 or visit Center For Family – Violence Prevention.