Eunice hosts Take Back the Night for people affected by domestic - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Eunice hosts Take Back the Night for people affected by domestic abuse

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In St. Landry Parish, men and women are taking a stand against domestic and sexual abuse.

Louisiana is the second deadliest state for women when it comes to these crimes. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women will be affected in their lifetime.

"I've had the black eyes, I've had teeth knocked out. I've had the broken nose, dislocated jaw, cracked ribs, thrown out of a car. All of that. But I thank god I am able to stand here today and say you can overcome that," said Eva Noel, standing at a podium speaking to dozens of people about her experience with domestic abuse.

It's been 25 years since she endured physical and emotional abuse at the hands of an intimate partner.

"Every 9 seconds a woman is a victim of domestic violence in the US," said Noel. "You can't say what you will do or what you won't do. Fear over powered me so bad, so bad I was afraid to leave. When I finally did build up the nerve and courage to leave, guess what? I did what so many do, came right back."

Take Back the Night is part of an international movement in support of survivors of sexual violence.

"It's very important to this area because we need awareness. So many people feel that they have to be silent and not speak against this domestic violence thing. But because we are bringing awareness to it now people are more apt to speak out against domestic abuse, verbal abuse," said Paula Anderson, the president of Chat-A-While Social Club and organizer of the event.

Survivors know how important awareness is--because others aren't so lucky. At the event, they read off the names of all the men and women who have died in Louisiana due to domestic violence this year alone.

"Keep your ears and eyes open. A slap leads to domestic violence, verbal words lead to domestic violence. You need to know the signs, know what to look for, know what to recognize and take it seriously it's not a joke," said Noel.

If you or someone you know may be in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship, there is help available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can call the hotline 1.888.411.1333

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