MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Saturday morning, a group of people in Moss Point got an early start to raising awareness about domestic violence.
It wasn't just the inaugural 5K run hosted by New Beginnings Domestic Violence Shelter, but it was also a chance to remember and honor a family member, friend and classmate Sonja Wells-Raine.
The New Beginnings Domestic Violence Shelter has been in Jackson County since 2010, and they continue to make their footprint in their community. On Saturday, they called out their neighbors to fight against domestic violence together.
"It hits home. It happens every day and the statistics are rising on a daily basis," organizer Justin White said.
White says one of their community members, 47-year-old Raine, was the victim of a domestic relationship that turned deadly. Attendees at the event say the death of the wife and mother helped shine a light on the signs of domestic abuse others may miss.
"It could happen to anyone and to know that something like this does happen, it kind of shines a light on it and heightens awareness," Kim Lee said.
Pamela Taylor was a classmate of Sonja and considered her a sister. She said she wouldn't have missed this event for anything.
"Number one, being here in her honor," Taylor said. And number two, for all those other ladies that are out there struggling with it and feeling like their alone. They're not alone."
There are resources and help available if needed.
"There are different opportunities and resources available. Of course the domestic violence shelter and there's counselors on standby. There are people to help you through this process," Moss Point Police Department Officer Darius Wilson said.
If you're a victim of domestic violence you're urged to visit or contact New Beginnings Domestic Violence Shelter, or all your local law enforcement for help.
"I hope this continues not just this year. I hope this is a function that will continue the following year and each year there after, so we can have someone in front of this camera saying 'I watched this event and it saved my life.'" Taylor said.