Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil

Victims of domestic violence, family members, and law enforcement gathered in Greenville Wednesday to raise awareness about the problem in the community. Wednesday, a Washington man died at Pitt County Memorial Hospital after police say his son shot him following a family disturbance.

Nationwide, domestic violence agencies say every day 3 women and one man are murdered because of domestic violence. The Center for Family Violence Prevention says so far this year, there have been 56 domestic violence murders in North Carolina. Attorney General Roy Cooper says there were100 domestic violence deaths last year, down from 131 the previous year. People attending Wednesday's ceremony hope that number continues to drop, and spoke about the importance of raising awareness to prevent domestic violence. Candles were lit to honor the 27 people who died in Pitt County from domestic violence since the year 2000.

Domestic violence victim, Allen Thompson, attended the ceremony and says awareness is extremely important, which is why he wanted to share his story. "In March of 2008 my dad stabbed my mother to death, and ever since then I woke up and realized how big a deal domestic violence is and how many people it truly is affecting."

A calendar with 12 men who give quotes about preventing domestic violence, including Greenville Police Chief William Anderson and ECU head football coach Ruffin McNeill, is being sold through January for to help pay for awareness programs.Chief Anderson says he's hopeful the city will soon build a family justice center with resources to help domestic violence victims under one roof.

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