FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — On Wednesday afternoon at the Fayette County Memorial Building, the organization AWAY, which stands for Advocating A Way for Adults and Youth, held its 2022 Domestic Violence Awareness month event.

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

Law enforcement and community members joined the presentation to celebrate the survivors, honor those who go above and beyond to help victims, and remember those who lost their lives to domestic violence.

Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Ciliberti Jr. was one of the many recipients of the Incite Hope award.

He said he wants to look at prosecuting domestic violence cases more harshly to protect victims.

“By getting these cases in front of a grand jury quicker, there’s less likelihood and there’s a smaller amount of time for a victim to change their mind,” Ciliberti Jr. said.

Belinda Hopkins, the Domestic Violence Advocate for AWAY, said the resources they provide are free of charge and confidential.

She said she believes silence isn’t the answer to potentially curbing domestic violence in the area.

“To the community, just be observant and if they see someone that may be experiencing domestic violence, report it to the police. Don’t try to do anything yourself, let law enforcement handle it because that’s the safer way to do it but don’t be silent,” Hopkins said.

After the presentation of awards, attendees held a purple light and sat in a moment of silence of remembrance.