Leaders from across the valley came together Wednesday to declare October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Ada County Sheriff’s Office says 4,447 calls for service were made to local law enforcement agencies last year related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.
City leaders from Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Garden City, Kuna, Eagle, and Star are working to start a conversation about preventing domestic violence.
The ceremony was also to thank the first responders who play a big role in helping victims of domestic violence. Representatives from the Boise Women’s and Children’s Alliance brought lunches to law enforcers across the valley to show their appreciation.
Ada County paramedic and domestic violence survivor Renee Miller spoke out about her own escape from an abusive relationship.
"It's important to me for people to see that it can happen to anybody," she said. "It can happen to your first responders, it can happen to your neighbor, it can happen to your mom."
She told the crowd about being in an abusive relationship and says it is hard to break the cycle, but that the community coming together to fight domestic abuse will make a difference.
Anyone who feels like they are trapped in an abusive or violent relationship shouldn't wait, she said, but should reach out for help immediately.
"This type of behavior is a learned behavior, so if we don't break this cycle all we're doing is teaching our children that this type of behavior is OK, and these types of relationship are OK," Miller said.
Idahoans across the valley are encouraged to wear purple during the month of October to help show support.
City leaders were very vocal about getting people in their communities so help create a culture where domestic violence isn't tolerated.
Miller said she relied on the Women’s and Children’s Alliance in the wake of her own abusive relationship, and stressed that help is available for those who need it.
"In my situation, I didn't have any money, I didn't have anything, everything was in his name [but] I was still able to leave and ask for help," she said. There are resources within our amazing community that have the ability to help you."
For a list of local domestic violence resources, click here.