The Capital Area Missouri National Organization for Women chapter is offering survivors of domestic violence a safe place to speak out and share their stories to mark national Domestic Violence Awareness month.
A vigil will be hosted at 6 p.m. Sunday on the south steps of the Capitol, welcoming individuals who want to stand up and support the cause.
Jeannie Lahman, president of the local NOW chapter, said it's the first time their group is hosting the event, but domestic violence is not new to the area.
In 2016, Cole County ranked 15th in the state for domestic violence instances, according to the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
"These statistics are very disturbing, especially because this is out of the 114 counties across the state. I want people to know that it is prevalent right here in our community," Lahman said.
During the vigil, Lahman will share her story of abuse, as well as recounting abuse her grandmother endured and did not survive.
"I want people to come to hear and share if they are willing, so maybe others can feel like they can be an ally," she said. "It's a lifelong altering incident, and the survivors need to know they are not alone."