There Is Help For Domestic Violence Victims

It affects men and women of all races from all backgrounds. We're talking about domestic violence.

Monday night the Coastal Women for change held a seminar to discuss the signs of domestic violence and how to prevent it.

"It's real and I don't think that people think that its so prevalent here, but it is. You must know that it's not your fault and you can leave," says Sharon Hanshaw with Coastal Women for Change.

She says while 95 percent of all domestic violence is against women, they are not the only ones being abused.

"There are a percentage of men that are being abused by women physically and mentally. But the men won't come forward like the women," Hanshaw said.

The number of domestic violence cases decreased following Hurricane Katrina, but last year those numbers went back up.

Sandra Morrison with the Gulf Coast Women's Center For Non Violence says children also suffer from domestic situations. Problems she says won't end until someone makes a change.

"The one thing about domestic violence is that it is all about power and control," Morrison said.

Morrison teaches the women at the center that domestic abuse is cyclical.

"The first stage is the tension building stage, then the makeup, then the honeymoon stage where he is sorry, he regrets it. He may even cry and then they make up," said Morrison.

However, until the abuser seeks help, the cycle will continue. That's why these women will continue to fight domestic violence through education.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and need help, you can call the Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 1-800-800-1396. There are counselors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.