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Taylor County Residents Raise Awareness About Domestic Violence

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GRAFTON -

The West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence said 12,661 domestic violence offenses were reported to law enforcement in West Virginia in 2010.

The Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney's Office recently indicted 41 people.

Those 41 include Leonard Bartlett who faces three counts of first degree sexual abuse and Lewis Peters who faces 10 counts of first degree sexual abuse.

The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness about the problem of domestic violence in West Virginia.

"There are lots of victims of domestic violence and we probably all know someone who has been impacted by domestic violence," said Pruntytown Correction Center Warden Debbie Minnix. "We need to take a stand to let folks know this isn't right."

Staff from Pruntytown Correctional Center, the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center, and the Burlington United Methodist Family Services sponsored an awareness walk in support of Domestic Violence Victims.

All three agencies said they are extremely happy with the turnout.

"It's very moving to know we have support from the people of Taylor County," said Pam Larew of Burlington United Methodist. "Hopefully our judicial system will see the same thing and put these people behind bars where they belong."

Taylor County residents walked down Main Street past the courthouse chanting "stop the violence". This was meant to show support for the victims.

The group began the walk at Taylor County Supply by the post office and stopped at the Mothers Day Shrine.

Residents said the walk is meant to show victims they are not alone.

"You have support out there," said Debbie Young of the Pruntytown Correction Center. "It is not your fault that you were victimized. Don't be embarrassed. Don't be shy. Don't be afraid that people are just going to sweep it under the rug. We're out there for you. We will get you help."

If you know someone who is being abused or needs help, you can call the 24-Hour Rape and Domestic Violence Hotline at 304-292-5100.