‘Something has to change’: Luncheon raises money for domestic violence prevention services

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The Center for Family Violence Prevention serves about 850 to 1,000 victims every year.

Thursday, they brought people together to raise money so they can keep helping survivors and add even more services. The center held an online auction and talked about efforts to spread more awareness about the issue of domestic violence.

Executive Director Laura King said victims often suffer in silence, but they are far from alone.

“Those who haven’t found the courage or strength or the support to come forward are the ones we are most concerned about, and I would encourage them if they’re listening today, to really think about their situation. Come talk to us. Come talk to one of our counselors, and we’ll help you sort it out,” King said.

Jan Newell-Byrd also shared her story at Thursday’s luncheon. She’s an author but also a survivor of abuse. Newell-Byrd said victims often stay in their situations because they don’t realize how much help is out there.

“I thought I was the only one because I was isolated. I never talked to anyone, but once you get out and you start talking, then you realize this is not normal. This… something has to change,” Newell-Byrd explained.

She went on to describe the type of abuse she endured.

“I was involved in domestic violence twice. The first one was the physical violence, and that was bad. But the second marriage was the verbal and the emotional abuse, and so many people are going through that and don’t realize that it’s domestic violence,” Newell-Byrd said.

In Newell-Byrd’s book, Testimony of a Kept Woman, she shares her experience of surviving abuse in two of her past marriages.

The Center for Family Violence Prevention is in the process of creating a Family Justice Center. It would house all services a survivor needs in one place.

This would eliminate any transportation challenges, and it would mean the victim no longer has to repeat their story multiple times.

WITN is continuing to follow these efforts. Organizers are meeting again on Oct. 20th at 2 p.m. to discuss plans. The plans are still in the very early stages.

The center can be reached by phone at (252) 758-4400 and more information on their services is available on their website.

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