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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Awareness Can Help Break The Cycle

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

It began back in 1981 to help connect victims to safety planning and domestic violence programs.

According to the CEO of the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh Nicole Molinaro, one in four women each day are killed by a partner.

"We see victims and survivors who are women, men … anybody can be a victim of partner violence," Molinaro said.

Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, has no boundaries.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

This pattern of power and control over another person within a relationship doesn't care about socio-economic situations, ethnic backgrounds or gender.

But there is a group with a higher risk of not surviving domestic abuse.

"Anybody can be a victim of intimate partner violence," Molinaro said. "With that said, African American women are at higher risk of being killed within the relationship."

Molinaro said no one really knows why that figure is higher, but the best safety net for any victim is safety planning and connection to a domestic violence program.

Four percent of victims killed were connected to some sort of program.

"Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh offers a range of services," Molinaro said. "We can meet you where you are, whether it is fleeing for your life or determining what your goal is. Then we meet that goal."

The numbers don't lie. One out of every four relationships is chronically violent, one out of every three women and one out of every seven men have experienced sexual abuse, sexual violence or intimate partner violence.

If you need help call the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh at 412-687-8005 or click here.

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