RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - When it comes to domestic violence, nearly 20 people per minute will be physically abused by their partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Often the crime doesn’t get reported to police, but Richmond group is working to put an end to that.
An event this week called ‘Remember My Name’ will honor those who died because of domestic violence. It’s a memorial to honor lives lost while arming survivors with tools to come out on top.
Just last month, police responded to a domestic tragedy on Northside Avenue in Richmond. Investigators say the shooter was in a relationship with the woman he killed before he turned the gun on himself. That incident followed a different murder-suicide in Hanover back in August.
Also over the summer in Chesterfield, a woman shot her boyfriend multiple times because he allegedly assaulted and strangled her. In that case, the man was arrested.
"Domestic violence is all about power and control,” says Ryan Morris of the YWCA.
Morris works to connect survivors with resources to regain their lives.
"Hitting or punching and kicking. It could also be verbal abuse, like name calling or put-downs. It can be financial abuse of keeping someone’s money from them or giving them an allowance,” she explained.
In far too many cases, that control escalates into tragedy, which is why the YWCA is holding a memorial. Remember My Name is a public event, honoring lives lost to domestic violence taking place Thursday, Oct. 25, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Families of victims will be on hand to share their loved ones' stories.
In the meantime, local advocates are working to prevent another family from experiencing tragedy.
A common question asked is ‘why does a victim stay?’ Experts say it's not always easy to get out.
"Often times people who are being abused have relationships with their abusers and they care about them. It's challenging also for someone to separate from someone they've built a life with, they may have children with,” Morris added.
But with support and encouragement, a victim can get out.
"We want to make sure they get to make the decisions and they're getting some of that power and control back,” she added.
The candlelight vigil will take place Thursday at the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 7 p.m.
If someone you know needs support with domestic violence, the 24-hour crisis hotline is 804-612-6126.