PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)–Mercer County is third highest in the state for domestic violence cases. There’s one organization that aims to combat this problem.

On average, 20 people a minute are physically abused by their partner in the United States according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

SAFE or Stop Abusive Family Environments held an event Monday, October 3, 2022, in the afternoon where they spoke to community members in Mercer County about the signs of Domestic Violence.

Family Court Judge Lisa Clark who oversees Mercer and McDowell County said there are five types of abuse.

“There are different sorts of domestic violence besides the overt physical violence that you may regularly think of. You have verbal, emotional, of course physical, sexual, and financial abuse as well. All of these are different ways of controlling a person and a situation,” Clark said.

Pat Daniels, the Advocate Coordinator for SAFE said they plan to hold more events in the surrounding counties because she wants to see domestic violence statistics lowered.

“This is something that with the people knowing how to handle it, where your resources are, and the people that can help in these situations then we can lower the domestic violence statistics that we’re building on right now,” Daniels said.

And Susie who is a specialist for the Mercer County DHHR dealt with many cases dealing with abuse for over twenty years.

She said she’s seeing a positive change in people’s attitudes about domestic violence.

“Since we been doing this in the 25 years I think there’s more people that are aware that there are services out there and there’s more people aware that’s maybe not in a domestic violence situation that knows somebody that is and can say, ‘Hey I know where you can get help, I know somebody that can help you,'” Susie said.

Judge Clark added if you are a victim or know someone in immediate danger, call the police and file for a protective order.