AP NEWS

Silent march, rally held in downtown Raleigh to honor victims of domestic violence

November 1, 2018

The Wake County Domestic Violence Task Force and InterAct held their annual rally and silent march to honor victims of domestic violence and their families on Wednesday.

The event, which began at the Wake County Courthouse, marked the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced physical violence, sexual assault and/or stalking by a partner in their lifetime.

Jessica Smith was one of the many in attendance for Wednesday’s event. She told WRAL’s Amanda Lamb that in 2009, she was strangled and hit by her boyfriend before he continued to abuse her.

“I left (him) after he broke my jaw and three of my teeth,” she said. “I needed eight stitches in chin and 10 in my tongue. My jaw needed to be wired shut.”

Smith says she feels lucky that she got out of the relationship.

“I feel very lucky to be alive,” she said. “Looking back, I realize I was very close to being killed.”

Smith said she shares her story for the greater good.

“I hope I can change someone’s life for the better,” she said.