MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. - Last year, 19 people in Mecklenburg County were killed in domestic violence homicides.
Jessica Hare was 18 years old when a relationship she was in turned rocky. She said she was mentally abused, at first, but she didn’t initially recognize the signs of domestic violence.
“It started out mentally, calling me fat, saying I was ugly and he didn't want to be with me,” Hare said. “Eventually it became physical, and he would push me into things; pushed me up against a wall.”
Shain Gallery,and artists such as Andy Braitman, are dedicated to a fundraiser, Art with Heart, which donates paintings to be auctioned off to raise money for the Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Shelter.
“I tried to find a cause that was not political, not religious, no baggage with it, just a pure moral just cause,” Braitman said. “As a teacher and an artist, I try to let people know that donation is a good thing.”
Hare, who is working on her doctoral degree in social work, wants to help families break the cycle of domestic violence.
“Really have a bond with your children so that you can know if they are silently struggling,” Hale said.
Hare said she found support of her parents, which gave her the strength to break free from her violent relationship.
“(My father) helped me get some counseling,” Hare said. “I got counseling with the counselors on campus. I was no longer a victim. I became a survivor.”
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