JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — People in Eastern North Carolina are spreading awareness to reduce domestic violence.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 20,000 calls are placed a day to domestic violence hotlines across the country. In North Carolina, nearly 44% of women and 19% of men say they are affected by this firsthand.
Members of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Mu Lambda Zeta Chapter of Jacksonville are speaking up.
“Domestic violence is very serious and you know, we are breaking the silence,” said Tantara Reese, Domestic Violence Coordinator for the Chapter.
On Saturday, people gathered to spread awareness of domestic violence in our community.
“We gathered to shine the light on domestic violence and the cause and effect that it has on our community,” said Dr. Rhonda Wooten, President of Mu Lambda Zeta Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
“Anytime that you can have a year like we’ve had, there’s some new stresses, there’s some new things for everybody,” said Deputy Brent Harrell with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. “The possibility is there but there’s always going to be stresses and there’s always going to be things that can lead to domestic cases.”
On average, 20 people per minute are physically abused by a significant other in the United States. During one year, that adds up to more than 10,000,000 men and women.
“It’s important because we have women dying. You know, we have people dying who can’t get out,” Reese said. “And you know, it’s not just women being abused, we have men being abused as well.”
Domestic abuse is not limited to physical violence. It is also seen in forms of mental and sexual abuse. At times, people are unaware of the different types, resulting in a lack of reports.
Making people aware of all of the forms of domestic violence is ‘why’ locals are out in the community sharing information.
“Domestic violence is a horrible thing in our community and it’s not going away anytime soon,” said Gary Danford, executive director of the Onslow Women’s Center. “If we can educate and make people aware, we can save people’s lives.”
There are many resources in the east that can be of service to you, including the Mu Lambda Zeta Chapter of Jacksonville and the Onslow Women’s Center.
“It is very important that they know there are resources,” Reese said. “There is a way out.”
“Make the phone call and say ‘Hey, I need some help’,” said Deputy Harrell. “That brings us in and the other half is follow-through.”
The first step to getting assistance is breaking the silence. Make the call.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, the following links could be of use:
- Onslow Women’s Center (910) 347-7960
- Call your local Sheriff’s Office or Police Department
For anonymous, confidential help 24/7: National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224.