FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and since the pandemic started, domestic violence cases have been on the rise.

On Thursday, evening victims who lost their lives to domestic violence in North Carolina were remembered in Downtown Fayetteville.

The Remember My Name Domestic Violence Vigil was held at Festival Park. The event is organized by multiple entities including Cumberland County District Court, CARE Center Family Violence Program, and Cumberland County Superior Court.

According to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, between January and September 11 of this year, there were 35 domestic violence related deaths in the state. A sobering statistic which highlights the dangers for those involved including the victims and police.

“We are already on heightened alert because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Sergeant Alpha Caldwell with Fayetteville Police Department said.

Law enforcement officers must prepare physically and mentally for domestic calls.

“It’s always two to a domestic call. So, you will have one interacting with whoever is there and then the other is kind of watching and making sure no one is coming up or coming out,” Sgt. Caldwell said.

“As we approach a house we don’t go straight to the door. We fan out and approach the residents tacitly,” Caldwell said.

At the event, the names of domestic violence victims’ who passed away in the past year were read. Doves and balloons were released at the park in their honor. Their pictures along with a pair of their shoes and a purple light were placed in the park.

People gather to view domestic violence victims’ shoes. (Justin Moore and Ray Duffy/CBS 17)

The vigil also brought awareness to this contact information and community resources for domestic violence victims:

  • Cumberland County Family Court: 910-475-3015 or their website
  • Clerk of Superior Court Lisa Scales, Safe-Link Domestic Violence Assistance Program 910-475-3000, Cumberland County Courthouse, Room 340
  • The CARE Center Family Violence Program: Crisis Line 910-677-2532 or office 910-677-2528
  • U.S. Army Family Advocacy Program: 910-322-3148 or hotline 910-584-4267

You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 by texting the word START to 88788 or calling 1-800-799-7233.