MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – Domestic violence survivors and advocates in Carteret County joined hands Thursday at a “Stand Against Domestic Violence,” with the goal of putting an end to silence surrounding the issue.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and participants at the Morehead City event had the opportunity to learn the warning signs of violence and the resources available to those who suffer from it.
For friends of a Carteret County couple murdered during a 2014 domestic violence case, the issue hit close to home.
“We’re here today to honor Valerie Piner and Dennis Harvey, who were murdered two years ago,” said Janice Creel, a friend of the victims. “We feel like the victims of domestic violence should be the ones who are talked about instead of murderers being made into little local celebrities.”
Nearly 100 participants stood silently as the names of North Carolinians who were victims of domestic violence were read aloud.
“It just tears my heart out,” said Peggy Dickerson, a participant. “It’s a shame it’s gotten that way. It really is.”
Dressed from head to toe in purple, the color of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, survivors and advocates proudly joined hands in solidarity.
“We have men and women and children who suffer when it happens at home, often for the rest of their lives,” said Glenda Riggs, director of the Carteret County domestic violence program. “It’s important we recognize that it exists and together we can effect change.”
Officials said 51 North Carolinians died over the past year because of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, call the crisis line at 1-800-799-7233.