It's often the unreported crime, but domestic abuse affects families across the mountains. One group gathered to show victims they do have options.
Tammy Green, a victim of domestic violence says it's been five years too long. “It's almost sucked the life out of me. It's a miserable feeling. Nobody needs to be under any man's control. A woman needs to be able speak, breath, and think for herself.”
Event organizers say Green is not the only one.
Sheryl Caudel, a Victims Advocate with Family Life Abuse Center says, “It affects this area immensely, all of Appalachia and all of this nation.>
The center invited women from around the region to Harlan County to show victims they have options and that they can have a better life. Green says, “So that people like me will know that there's hope and that there's a way to survive and get through whatever you're going through.”
Caudel says, “About one in for women will be abused by an intimate partner during her life time. In our country everyday four woman are killed by an intimate partner.”
Vera Craig says she became a victim as a young teen. “He abused me, very very badly, for several years.” Craig says now she's here to teach her daughter the warning signs of domestic abuse so her daughter does not have to go through what she did.
The event is all about the women. Caudel says a woman has to be able to take care of herself first before she can take care of others. “Today we wanted to give women a sense of who they are because once we have that feeling of who we are we're better able to determine how we'll let people treat us.”
“I want my life back. I want normal back,” says Green
Event organizers say for many women, it’s re-learning what normal is.
If you or someone who love is a victim of domestic violence, you can call a confidential crisis hotline at 1-800-755-5348.