COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — October is domestic violence awareness month. The Ohio Domestic Violence Network is doing its part in raising awareness as it held a press conference inside the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday morning.
Part of the conference included hearing from survivor Kellie Elliot. Elliot was a victim and says one of the hardest things she still struggles with is the loss of her two children. "I have endured one of the worst tragedies a mother can ever experience," Elliot said.
Elliot lost her son Caleb and daughter Grace in January in Preble County after their father shot and killed the two before he turned the gun on himself.
"I don't know how I get through my days, to be honest with you," Elliot said. "I just know every day that I get up, it's a day that he hasn't won."
Throughout Ohio, the number of fatalities is alarming. According to ODVN, within the last year, there were 112 domestic violence fatalities with 22 of those victims being children.
This is an alarming trend for ODVN as they say that's the highest number of youth fatalities since the coalition began the count.
"We really need to expand program capacity. We've seen cuts to program sheltering and funding. And we need to expand that capacity to make sure that we can serve everyone that comes on our member program doorstep," Director of Systems Advocacy, Lisa DeGeeter, said.
Elliot said she is thankful organizations like ODVN are willing to help and hopes they can even save lives.
Knowing that there are places that you can go is very important because they are here to fight for you,
To learn more about the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, click here.