GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Every year 1 in 3 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of domestic violence.
Here in the east, the Center for Family Violence Prevention is trying to raise awareness and funds to help those who are victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Today the center hosted its second annual Domestic Violence Impact Lunch.
One advocate shared a very personal story of how powerful the lasting effects of domestic violence can be.
“She lay there so peacefully, and I just stroked her hair, wondering how such a kind person, such a kind person could be brutally murdered like that,” said Allen Thomas.
Thomas lost his mother to domestic violence when he was in college.
The image and thought of not being there for his mom haunted him.
“I would have nightmares or different scenarios on what happened every night, but the one thing that remained the same way as I was not there to protect my mother,” said Thomas.
Thomas said he blamed himself for years.
“She screamed to God to help her. She screamed for anyone, please, help me. I could not do anything to help her, but I decided to do something to possibly help someone else,” said Thomas.
Now, he’s turning his tragedy into a mission of advocacy.
“Every time I speak I hope there’s someone in the audience who is going through possibly domestic violence, and they need to hear what I have to share in order to take that step to get help. I hope that hopefully someone’s life will be saved because of the tragedy I experienced,” said Thomas.
Thomas shared his story with hundreds of people in support of the Center for Family Violence Prevention.
“We hope this will be a real motivator for people in the community to step up and help this cause, to share the work and to work with us toward prevention,” said Laura King, Executive Director.
At the end of the day, organizers want everyone to know that no family is immune to this kind of violence.
Thomas also said he hopes his story will help to break down stereotypes when it comes to domestic violence and empower people to feel like they aren’t so alone.
If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation you can reach out to the Center for Family Violence Prevention’s 24-hour hotline at (252) – 752 – 3811.