JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - On the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Onslow County Sheriff's Office announced their partnership with the Onslow County Women's Center to help reduce domestic violence in the local area.
"It started off as mental abuse, emotional abuse and then it took maybe three months to get physical," Andrea Robinson, a domestic violence survivor, said.
It might be the end of domestic violence awareness month, but it's an issue many hope to keep at the forefront of public discussion. Survivors like Robinson are showing support for the partnership and sharing their stories.
"Women are not always the victims," Dan Whitten, a domestic violence survivor, said. "I went through things that no child should have to go through.
"He would curse at me and he would scream in my face and corner me," Robinson said. "I couldn't do anything because if I tried to move he would threaten to hit me."
Living in fear is a reality many of these survivors continue to face, but reaching out for help is what saved them.
"I felt a spark of independence," Whitten said. "It really set off the revelation that it's not just me out here."
"It showed me that those things weren't normal," Robinson said. "All the things I was going through with him were not normal at all."
Survivors told NewsChannel 12's Merrilee Moore that it's about finding the strength to speak up and realize what you deserve.
"I had a right to be happy," Robinson said. "I had a right to fight for my son and my own happiness."
"I don't fear those memories anymore -- I own them," Whitten said. "They're not pleasant, but they definitely remind me of who I am and where I'm going and why I'm here."
Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller said that he plans to host a meeting sometime in December to collect suggestions about how to reduce domestic violence and present those to the North Carolinian State Domestic Violence Commission in February 2018.
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