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Community teams up to "Stop the Violence"

Horry and Georgetown law enforcement officials stood together on stage at the "Let's Stop the Violence" domestic violence awareness Friday. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

Last week was national "Stop the Violence week." October is also national Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Fred Nesta has been advocating for support across the board in fighting the nationwide problem. It's also an issue here -- South Carolina ranks inside the top ten for domestic violence homicides.

Saturday, he along with his friend, Tim McCray, organized "Let's stop the Violence" -- a forum discussing ways to combat domestic violence.

"If we can save one child, if we can save one woman, affect one person's life, that's the goal," said Nesta.

Saturday he gathered Horry County Sheriff Chief Deputy Tom Fox, Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock, Horry County Police Chief Joseph Hill and representatives from local support Horry and Georgetown agencies together.

"It's important for law enforcement to support the community but more importantly, it's important for the community to be involved in the prevention of crime," said Fox.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said domestic abuse came from her husband.

"For 14 years, I was with him," she said. "Twelve of the years he beat me."

They have three kids together.

She said she was trapped when she was with him.

"The locks were on the inside of the inside of the house. He had the key on the outside that I couldn't go out," she said.

And like so many other victims of domestic abuse wasn't able to break free.

"I watched other people in my family go through it, but as for me being a person of having to have a person hit you and tell you that we're worthless and that you're no good...you start to believe those things when you've been with a person for so long," she said.

In 2011, she escaped -- running from home to move in with her mom. But she turned to drugs -- it took her mind off painful memories.

She's now in treatment at Shoreline in Conway. Saturday marked her 59th day clean.

Nesta raised money with McCray. He handed out checks supporting outside local agencies. He said most important is the early education -- showing kids how they can avoid domestic abuse.

Nesta said he hopes to have more forums in the future.


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