Survivors and family members ask people to speak up for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The City of Jacksonville along with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office held an event to commemorate the month.

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At this event, we heard from a woman who lost her sister to domestic violence. She says there is help for those who are suffering from this abuse.

“Something and we knew my sister was gone. But ... something in me wanted to fight to save her,” said Latoya Calhoun, breaking down in tears.

Calhoun gave her firsthand account of the traumatic moments when her sister’s life was taken away too soon by domestic violence. She shared how her sister, 21-year-old Lashonda Wilson, tried too late to leave her abuser. In 2003, her husband shot and killed her and then turned the gun on himself.

JSO says stories like these happen too often. Last year, nearly 8,000 domestic violence incidents happened in the city of Jacksonville, and 17 resulted in death. So far this year, seven people have died due to domestic violence.

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The Hubbard House, a 24-hour domestic service for victims and families, has been there for Calhoun since her sister’s death.

“And they were super nice. This whole process has been amazing. They made sure I was OK mentally and emotionally,” she says.

She has this message to those who may be suffering in silence:

“With the hope of encouraging anyone out there who needs to find support ... to find it, find the strength and help to leave,” Calhoun said at the event.

For more information about Hubbard House, CLICK HERE.

Anyone who needs help and can safely get away from their abuser is asked to call the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 or Hubbard House in Jacksonville at (904) 354-3114.

Latoya Calhoun speaks out about the importance of domestic violence awareness.
Latoya Calhoun speaks out about the importance of domestic violence awareness.

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