ALABAMA - The National Domestic Violence Hotline says that every minute 24 people are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner.
More people in north Alabama are reaching out for help with domestic violence. The nonprofit Crisis Services of North Alabama says last year they received 4,000 more calls to their helpline than ever before.
They attribute some of the increase to a shift in culture.
Becky Cecil is the Development Manager for Crisis Services of North Alabama and she says that the movements like #MeToo as well as celebrities coming out and sharing their stories of domestic violence and sexual assault is empowering people to reach out if they are in a similar situation.
Those stories can show victims they are not alone. Which Cecil says can help take the blame off of the abused and place it back on the abuser. "I think a lot of time with sexual violence we blame the victim, oh if you weren't wearing that skirt you wouldn't have been sexually assaulted or you're a man, how could you be sexually assaulted?"
With victims more empowered to reach out and call the helpline, Crisis Services volunteers are given the opportunity to be a listening ear and offer resources to victims. "They are there to handle whatever situation is presented to them and then they are also able to refer them to services," says Cecil.
Services that include shelters, forensic nursing, legal services and much more. These Services can help transform people in the Tennessee Valley from victims to survivors. You can find a list of many of the resources available to victims of domestic violence here: https://www.csna.org/dv-resources
If you are a victim of domestic violence or anyone in a crisis the helpline can direct you to the resources you need or if you just need someone to talk to you can give them a call at (256) 716-1000.
If you are interested in volunteering, with the Crisis Services of North Alabama you can find more information about here.