Victims, advocates put focus on Domestic Violence Awareness month

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OKLAHOMA -- Victims, advocates and law enforcement are putting the spotlight on domestic violence for Domestic Violence Awareness month.

The OSBI says police responded to more than 24,000 reports of domestic violence in Oklahoma in 2011. That's one report of abuse every 21.6 minutes. Forty-seven murders were related to domestic abuse in 2011.

Tara Woodlee says her daughter, Ashleigh Lindsey, became one of those victims in July 2012.

She says Lindsey had been in an abusive relationship with Joshua Mahaffey, who shot and killed Lindsey.

Woodlee says she tried to get her daughter to go for help; now, she's made it her mission to help other women before it's too late.

"The biggest thing that keeps it going, I feel, is the silence. Everyone is so silent about it. You are silent when you're going through it because you don't want people knowing. He certainly isn't going to tell anybody he's doing that," Woodlee said.

Woodlee suggests contacting authorities and reaching out to a crisis center if you are being abused or know someone who is.

Contact the Grayson Co. Crisis Center at 903-892-8595, or the Durant Crisis Control Center at 580-924-3056, or Abigail's Arms in Gainesville at 940-665-2873.

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