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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- According to the office of the State Attorney General, domestic violence remains one of the most common calls to which law enforcement officers across the states respond to. Since the beggining of the year, officers and deputies have investigated over 7,000 reports of domestic violence.

“I had known I was in a violent situation, but I just didn’t know what I needed to do to get out of it,” says Elnora Harrington.

Domestic violence is a major problem across the country. It’s among the top when dealing with the calls police respond to. For those dealing with the violence head on, the situation is sometimes hard to get out of.

“I had been in it a long time. It was little things, but when you’re young you don’t think about when they slap you or they say something mean to you. You think maybe I did something to deserve it, but when it keeps happening and years go by and its getting worse, something needs to change,” says Harrington.

Elnora found refuge in a local women’s shelter for victims of abuse.

“I’d heard about a safe haven on TV. And I got the number and I called. I’m not sure who I spoke with at the time, but they told us to get out of the situation and come,” says Harrington.

Elnora went to Safe Haven, but admits she had doubts about leaving.

“The hardest part about leaving the situation was leaving my home , my family, my church family, my job. I left everything behind to get away from that situation and it was very hard, but I was willing to do it for my children,” says Harrington.

Dorothy Givens, who helps with Safe Haven, the idea of leaving can cause more fear in victims than staying.

“When you are established somewhere you don’t want to just uproot and move and go into a strange place not knowing where you going, how are you going to make it how are you going to survive for you and your kids. So they don’t want to leave that stability,” Dorothy Givens.

Despite the fears she had for her future, Elnora says her life has changed for the better.

“It’s changed my whole life for the better. I’m a totally different person than who I used to be. I wouldn’t see myself sitting here talking to you,” says Harrington.

Elnora urges those who need help to just start asking questions because because you are more than just a victim. 

 October is Domestic Violence awareness month.

If you are in an abusive situation and need a way out contact Safe Haven at 601-327-6118.

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