HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Next month marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month across the county, but this year the issue is already in the spotlight following the release of the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then fiancée in a New Jersey casino elevator.
The video has sparked outrage but for Angela Gurley the video reminds her of why she has devoted her life to helping domestic violence victims.
"I was hit, I was abused by my former husband, and I was afraid for a very long time to tell anyone about it," Gurley who know works with the Crisis Services of North Alabama said. "There is help out there for women and we are here to help victims," Gurley added.
According to statistic obtained by our news partners at The Huntsville Times, in 2013, there were 1,059 domestic violence-related arrests in Huntsville, Police Capt. JesHenry Malone said that Huntsville averaged 999 domestic violence arrests from 2010 to 2013.
As of Sept. 9 of this year, Huntsville Police had made 685 domestic violence arrests.
Crisis Services of North Alabama currently has a shelter for victims that is full, something that Gurley sees as a good and a bad thing.
"It means more people are getting help, but it is a reminder of just how much this happens in our communities every day," she said.
Some of the services CSNA provides include a 24-hour crisis line, information and referrals through the nationally recognized 211 phone number, emergency shelter to adult and child victims of domestic violence, and support and forensic documentation of injuries for victims, said Janet Shaw Gabel, executive director.
Crisis Services of North Alabama is sponsoring a domestic violence and abuse awareness event in Huntsville Oct. 5 to help raise awareness and funds for the support of the organization.
The Domestic Violence and Abuse Awareness Event will feature a fun run called the Stiletto Sprint. Participants will compete in a 40 meter dash while wearing stilettos at the minimal height of three inches.
More Domestic Violence and Abuse October Events:
* 18th – Break the Silence, Not Our Bodies Documentary, sponsored by Friends of Justice, UAH Women’s Studies and Office On Diversity; Honoring CSNA—6:30pm, UAH Union Theater.
* 28th –Human Chain, 2pm, Dublin Park-Kids Kingdom area, Madison, AshaKiran DV Awareness Month Kickoff.
*1st—Mrs. Bentley’s Candlelight Vigil—Montgomery Governor’s Mansion 6pm – 7pm
*1st – Northeast Alabama Community College DV/SA/FNE Presentation- Noon, Lisa Frasier, Traci Bynum and Susan Clay
*2nd – Space and Rocket Center Biergarten Stein & Dine to benefit CSNA – 4:30 to 7:30pm
*3rd – Bandito Burrito/South Side – Band Benefit/Community Awareness around DV—6:30pm
*4th – Madison Street Festival and Parade – downtown Madison, parade 7am, festival 9am– 4pm
*5th—Stiletto Sprint DV Awareness and Fundraiser—Madison County Court House North Side Square; 2pm – 6pm
*6th – Candlelight Vigil, Jackson County, Scottsboro Courthouse Square, 6pm
*9th – Honor the First Lady Mrs. Dianne Bentley, Montgomery, Luncheon Sponsorship or tickets available through firstname.lastname@example.org
*15th – Kiss A Cop—Law Enforcement Appreciation
*16th – Candlelight Vigil, Madison County, Oakwood University, 6 – 7:30pm
*17th –Java Jay’s in Decatur hosting a supply drive for CSNA’s Morgan County HOPE Place.
*17th – Walk A Mile In Her Shoes—WAM, Decatur Courthouse, 5:00pm
*18th – Domestic Violence Awareness Workshop sponsored by Mizpah Chapter No. 37 Order of Eastern Star, Richard Showers Center, Huntsville, 9am – Noon
*21st – Women’s Personal Safety Workshop; sponsored by Women in Security and ASIS, 8:00am – 11:30am, RFCU 220 Wynn Drive
*21st – Mary Kay and Stevi B’s in Madison to benefit CSNA’s HOPE Place- through percentage of customers receipts
*21st – Candlelight Vigil, Limestone County, Courthouse, rain—Duck Park, 6-7:00pm
(Our news partners at The Huntsville Times/AL.com contributed to this report)