It was a powerful scene as victims of domestic violence shared their stories at a Survivor Speakout event in Burlington Tuesday.
About 40 men and women gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Church. The atmosphere was set with drums and spoken word. Organizers did ask that there were no cameras in the room for privacy.Women shared their stories in hopes of encouraging one another. The event was hosted by Women Helping Battered Women and acted as a platform for victims ready to speak out.
"Stand up, stand up for yourself. Don't be too tough. Ask for help. this is your body, this is your soul, this is your life, do something," explained Airaa Perez, Master of Ceremony.
"This is about you and your safety and your process and it's really, really valuable to realize that you don't have to all of a sudden go from bring in an abusive relationship to all of a sudden being a strong woman." explained Jeanelle Achee, Miss Vermont.
"These women who are getting assaulted, it's not their fault and I think that a lot of people take advantage of that, there just not aware of these issues. So I think the rape culture really needs to stop," remarked UVM student Morgan Dewey.
There are programs available for victims of domestic violence -- UVM's One in Four offers help for students.