BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Experts and law enforcement officials say domestic violence affects every race and gender. Advocates want you to know help is available.
"All domestic violence breaks my heart,” Catherine Alexander-Wright with the YWCA said.
Wright has spent her career helping victims of domestic violence. She’s the Director of Domestic Violence services at the YWCA of central Alabama. When it comes to abusive relationships, Wright says leaving those situations is easier said than done.
"Leaving, just getting out can be very tricky. It can be very scary and it can be very dangerous,” Wright said.
Wright says it’s important to talk to someone trained in dealing with domestic violence and they can let you know the best way to move forward. That could come in the form of a protection from abuse order. Wright says every relationship is different.
"Domestic violence tends to be a cycle and so things can be very good and then they can escalate into a pattern of abuse that sometimes escalates to a particular incident,” Wright said.
Wright says if you do decide to leave make sure you have a safety plan in place. The YWCA offers many programs to help victims. Wright says the most important thing victims need to know is help is out there and that they don’t need to feel alone.
"We don’t want anyone else to be hurt. We have individuals, advocates, case managers who can walk them through their individual set of circumstances and offer them options about what is the best for them,” Wright said.
If you are in need of help, call the YWCA’s 24-hour crisis hotline at 205-322-HURT (4878).
You can find more domestic violence awareness resources here: http://www.ywcabham.org/end-domestic-violence