Domestic violence brought to light in Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and Hubbard House joined forces Tuesday morning for the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, stressing the importance of intervention in preventing violence in relationships.
The Sheriff's Office said it has received more than 5,600 reports of domestic violence this year, an increase over last year.
But police say that's good news because it means people are actually coming forward to report violence. It also means police can intervene and try to prevent violence from becoming deadly.
The number of domestic violence killings in Jacksonville is down 50 percent.
Sheriff John Rutherford underscored the importance of asking for help before it's too late.
"Don't suffer in silence," he said. "Reach out to someone, and hopefully that someone will be a friend who understands domestic violence and understands the resources that are available in the community, like Hubbard House, and will convince them to reach out to those services."
A survivor of domestic violence also shared some of her story.
Amie explained that she was choked, beaten and threatened with a gun by her abuser, the father of their two children.
She said the abuse happened right in front of their children.
"My daughter was asked to draw a picture of her family at 2 years old and she did," Amie said. "Her picture was of her brother, herself, her mommy and daddy. Everyone was normal stick figures, except me. I was completely red. When asked why her mommy was red, she replied, 'Because she's bleeding from daddy.'"
Amie said that's when she got help at Hubbard House and said she and her kids now live on their own and feel safe.
If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship and needs help from Hubbard House, call its 24-hour hotline at 904-354-3114.
Copyright 2013 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.