Community members walk to raise awareness about domestic violence

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, every nine seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten in the United States. Saturday morning in Greenville, local organizations worked to bring awareness to the issue.

Around 100 people laced up their tennis shoes and hit the streets, raising awareness on domestic violence.  Michelle Joyner was one of those walkers who is a strong, independent woman who said she thought she met the love of her life years ago until verbal abuse started happening in the home.

“When it became physical for me, that’s when I made a cautious decision that it was time to get out,” explained Michelle Joyner. She’s one of many at the Paint Pitt County Purple Walk working to teach others about the issue.

According to statistics, on a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

“Domestic violence affects everybody, directly and indirectly. I think it’s important that we are aware of it and aware of the resources available,” Joyner said. She said she was lucky and got out, but it wasn’t easy. “To get out you have to make a decision and just decide that I am more important than this person. I am more important than this relationship and there is more than one fish in the sea and there has to be one just for me.

Joyce Mitchell also walked almost ten miles to raise awareness.  As a social worker for many years, she’s seen abuse first hand.

“I had a person come to my house with basically nothing in their hand a victim of domestic violence,” Joyce Mitchell explained.

Walkers said, if you are being abused, stand up for yourself and get the help you deserve. For resources, click here.

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