ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) - October is domestic violence awareness month and experts say domestic violence touches every community. They say and often people don't know that it's happening to their friends and family behind closed doors.
A display at the Onslow Women's Shelter shows outlines of faces and represents 51 lives lost to domestic violence over the past year in North Carolina alone.
At the Onslow women's center, one of those happened too close to home.
The center director said, "Abuse is a mental control, you have someone who has told someone, the partner, that they love them, and typically they start as a great relationship, but then control is gradual until finally, they have complete control."
Susie Montag was a well known real estate agent in Jacksonville. In April, she was shot by a man she had been dating for several years after she tried to end the relationship.
Montag was killed at the hands of an abuser.
Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller said this happens more than you realize and wants to be apart of decreasing the abuse numbers.
"it happens too frequently. It's weekly, and sometimes more than once a day," said Miller.
There is a candlelight vigil at Jacksonville's Riverwalk Park Tuesday at night at 5:30 to honor victims of domestic violence.
The public is invited to attend.