Domestic Violence Awareness vigil held at Fremont City Hall

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and advocacy groups from across the Bay Area gathered for a candlelight vigil in Fremont on Wednesday to bring more awareness to the issue. 

A few dozen people met here at Fremont City Hall and organizers provided information about Domestic Violence to let people know there is help if they need it. 

"When somebody is in trouble, as a community we need to support that person. We need to validate their feelings," said Zakia Afrin, Director of Advocacy for Maitri, based in the South Bay. 

One in three women and one in four men in the U.S. say they’ve been physically abused by an intimate partner. Every year about 10 million people experience domestic violence. Bobbie McDonald says she became an advocate in 2016 after her cousin’s husband murdered her.    

"They were in the parking lot. He got a shot gun out the back of his car. Shot her, left her to die and fled to Mexico. They did eventually catch him, 35 years to life," McDonald said. 

Wednesday’s call of action was a part of a nationwide campaign called #Every1KnowsSome1. The event included a song, poetry and an open mic session allowing people to express their thoughts about domestic violence. Maitri, one of the participating groups, specifically serves the South Asian community, meeting survivors’ language and cultural needs.  

"Immigration can create additional barriers for survivors to come out of their abusive relationship or even to seek out help. So we understand and that’s how we connect with our survivors," Afrin said. 

Other advocacy groups involved included Narika, North American Islamic Shelter for the Abused and Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments. Research shows that the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when someone is trying to leave their abuser. 

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"Often times the abuser takes a survivor trying to leave, is an infringement on the control and power they’ve been trying to exert in that dynamic. So having a safety plan, talking to an advocate ahead of time, just to make sure you’ve gotten through the logistical pieces as well as the emotional pieces that come into leaving," said  Emily Anderson, Community Engagement and Education Manager for Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments. 

If you or someone you know needs help, click the links below: 

SAVE - Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments

National Domestic Violence Hotline