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Local nonprofit sees growing need for domestic violence victims

ROANOKE,Va. – A local nonprofit in our area that focuses on helping domestic violence victims is seeing an increase of demand for their services.

The non-profit, Domestic Abuse Disruption, or D.A.D., relies on volunteers and donations, but continues to change the lives of many survivors in our area. 

One in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

In our area, alone more individuals are seeking out help in response to their abuse and contacting domestic violence assistance organizations such as D.A.D.

“We are seeing more of the calls for immediate services like house removals, how to obtain the protective order and how to fill out your affidavit and testify,” said Trey Gregory, co-founder and president of D.A.D.

One of those individuals in need of help is Marcella Jackson, a mother of three and domestic abuse survivor who said  she is speaking out to show people that domestic abuse does not discriminate. 

“Domestic violence does not have a face. It does not just happen to poor people or people who are on drugs and that's what people assume,” said Jackson.

She said that she would not have been able to leave her abuser of six years without the assistance and support of D.A.D. 

“Having someone there who was not related to my situation and who wasn't a friend of mine or friend of the other individual just gave me a sense of empowerment,” said Jackson.

Gregory and his team have helped Jackson by escorting  to court cases and by monitoring her home.

Stacey Sheppard , the director of housing and human services for Total Action for Progress, said she too is seeing an increase in the number of domestic violence victims asking for help.

“I think the other piece of it is empowerment and that people are just starting to stand up for themselves and say, 'You know what, I am an abused person and I need help and I want to be a survivor,'” said Sheppard.