“It is proclaimed, whereas the month of October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” said Kurt Bradburn, Sandy City Mayor.
The event brought together law enforcement, community leaders and victim advocates.
“It’s time to open the door on domestic violence and end the violence that happens behind closed doors,” said Chief William O’Neal with the Sandy City Police Department.
The statistics tell only part of the story.
Leaders said there were 288 adult victims of domestic violence, and 270 child victims between September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018.
In Utah, one of three women has suffered intimate partner violence.
“I was the one that called police. He wasn’t letting me leave the house,” said Holly Thorup. “I was the one that didn’t feel safe.”
Thorup recalled the night when she was charged with domestic violence after telling police her partner threatened to kill her if she left with the kids.
From that experience, Thorup turned to a victim’s advocate who helped her break the cycle and speak out. Thorup learned domestic violence isn’t always physical. It’s about power and control. She hopes her story will help others feel safe to share their own.
“What I perceived it to be and what was happening to me were two different things and once those things came together that was the thing that shifted my mind," Thorup said.
Chief O’Neal said there is zero-tolerance for domestic violence. He wants survivors to know there are resources that can empower them to act.
“Many assaults go unreported and men, women and children involved live in constant fear. Please, if you’re in trouble or you believe someone else is in trouble, call the police," O'Neal said.
Sandy City is hosting several events this week to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, including a donation drive to support the South Valley Sanctuary on Friday, October 20th.
Click here for a list of events: