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VIRGINIA BEACH-- About 150 people attended a candlelight vigil Monday night, to draw attention to October being Domestic Violence Awareness month.

The vigil on what is called the 2012 Day of Unity was held at the Virginia Beach Town Center Fountain Plaza. YWCA South Hampton Roads, Samaritan House and five other domestic violence programs from around Hampton Roads joined to bring awareness to the issue of relationship violence, and efforts to educate the community.

The event connects advocates for victims of domestic violence across the country in their stand against the abuse of women and children.

According to a release from the YWCA, domestic violence affects 145 women every hour, over 15 million children nationally, and 1 out of every 4 women here in Hampton Roads. In the past year alone, YWCA South Hampton Roads provided 16,645 nights of shelter and support for women and children in crisis as a result of domestic violence through its Women in Crisis Program, and responded to 2,913 calls to its 24-hour helpline

The organizations represented at the vigil were the Samaritan House in Virginia Beach; YWCA South Hampton Roads in Norfolk; H.E.R. Shelter in Portsmouth; Genieve Shelter in Suffolk; Transitions Family Violence Services in Hampton; Garden of Hope Community Development Corporation in Norfolk; and Navy Fleet & Family Services.

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