Meet the president and CEO of the Young Women’s Christian Association in South Florida, Kerry-Anne Royes.
Royes is on a mission this month to raise awareness about domestic violence.
"I don’t know if people realize how relevant it continues to be, especially coming out of COVID. When a lot of people were locked in with their aggressors, a lot of families were not able to be safe during that time," said Royes.
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the nation. In one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
Starting October 18th, YWCA South Florida is hosting a “Week Without Violence.”
"We start the week out to help you focus on imaging the world without violence. You have everything from a tool kit to a guide as to how you could get engaged and involved in our week without violent work," said Royes.
The YWCA runs a domestic violence shelter in West Palm Beach County. In South Florida, they offer programs including on-site childcare options at courthouses.
"In five courthouses and one in Broward, we support women who don’t have adequate childcare to be able to defend their human rights. We are very proud of the legacy of that program where we serve over 2,000 children and their parents every year," said Royes.
Royes hopes their programs and initiatives will change the conversation about domestic violence.
"Folks who are in this station, who are today suffering, can hear from a friend that they support them and that they don’t blame them and that there is a way out," she added.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
You can also reach out to YWCA South Florida by heading to their website at ywcasouthflorida.org.
Melissa Marrero at WSFL first reported this story.