Ray Rice domestic violence incident increasing awareness of the problem

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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:

September:

* 18thBreak 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.

* 28thHuman Chain, 2pm, Dublin Park-Kids Kingdom area, Madison, AshaKiran DV Awareness Month Kickoff.

October:

*1stMrs. Bentley’s Candlelight Vigil—Montgomery Governor’s Mansion 6pm – 7pm

*1stNortheast 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

*3rdBandito Burrito/South Side – Band Benefit/Community Awareness  around DV—6:30pm

*4thMadison Street Festival and Parade – downtown Madison, parade 7am, festival 9am– 4pm

*5thStiletto Sprint DV Awareness and Fundraiser—Madison County Court  House North Side Square; 2pm – 6pm

*6thCandlelight Vigil, Jackson County, Scottsboro Courthouse Square, 6pm

*9thHonor the First Lady Mrs. Dianne Bentley, Montgomery, Luncheon Sponsorship or tickets available through acadv@acadv.org

*15thKiss A Cop—Law Enforcement Appreciation

*16thCandlelight Vigil, Madison County, Oakwood University, 6 – 7:30pm

*17thJava Jay’s in Decatur hosting a supply drive for CSNA’s Morgan County  HOPE Place.

*17thWalk A Mile In Her Shoes—WAM, Decatur Courthouse, 5:00pm

*18thDomestic Violence Awareness Workshop sponsored by Mizpah Chapter  No. 37 Order of Eastern Star, Richard Showers Center, Huntsville, 9am – Noon

*21stWomen’s Personal Safety Workshop; sponsored by Women in Security and ASIS, 8:00am – 11:30am, RFCU 220 Wynn Drive

*21stMary Kay and Stevi B’s in Madison to benefit CSNA’s HOPE Place- through percentage of customers receipts

*21stCandlelight Vigil, Limestone County, Courthouse, rain—Duck Park, 6-7:00pm

(Our news partners at The Huntsville Times/AL.com contributed to this report)

6 comments

  • Say What

    Awareness is far from solutions! We have been “aware” of domestic violence since before biblical days! You can tell by the “dinosaur” replies in this forum that we have a long ways to go!

  • Kimber Yates

    You know, I feel sorry for you. You really do not understand. All the money she made to support the family, my mother earned it at Wendy’s. She never had the money to leave my father until my grandparents had the savings to help us. And no, my mother did not do anything to cause our plight. She made the money, gave him the money, had to show him receipts when she spent the money, and was still beaten like an animal. I do not appreciate your use of this site to call me an idiot, because that is what you are doing by saying that I did not tell the truth about my mother’s involvement. Like a drug? Only someone who is completely demented could be drawn to that lifestyle. And your arguments are empty. The financial problems aren’t just insecurity, but in fact are very real, because in most cases, the victim is forced to give all of their money to the abuser. Do NOT open your mouth and talk about these victims if you do not understand the situation from his or her point of view. I have a man who won’t beat me, and he agrees…24 hour virus? Only an absolute illiterate would say that about domestic violence. Some people are effected by it their whole lives.

    • Dean Ondrus

      I would be kims boy freind. Quite frankly i don’t understand why that guy thought what he said was ok. I will never hurt her for the reason that i could not live without her. I would never hurt someone i care deeply about like that.

  • Kimber Yates

    Oh, and for your information, EVERY woman who deals with Domestic Abuse feels like it is 100% her fault. Part of the healing process is realizing that it is the fault of the person who did it to her.

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