POSTED: Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 8:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 8:04pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Domestic violence survivors , their families and friends gathered together in North Baton Rouge to support ending domestic violence. It's all part of the "Sistaz on Fiyah " pep rally 2013. The goal show women it's ok to leave domestic violence situations, and show they community is behind them.
"One day I was sitting down, and God spoke to me," Elissa Boudreaux, Sistaz on Fiyah co-organizer and domestic abuse survivor, said. "He said 'Do you want to die here or do you want to take your chance and leave?' I think you have a better chance of leaving then staying because he said he's going to kill you. "
Elissa Boudreaux knows first hand how difficult getting out of a domestic violence relationship can be.
"You don't know what they go through. I lived in a big nice home with a nice car had a good job and behind the walls of my house was total hell," Boudreaux described.
The event was hosted by Sistahs of Strength, X-Posed Domestic Violence Outreach, and Center of Empowerment.
"It encourages the victim to want to get out to know that there is a way out, and there are others out them like them that have gone through the same thing," Boudreaux said. "We are out. We are free, and we are living. "
The event featured liturgical dancers, cheering, and special guest to help women find strength.
The Violence Policy Center recently ranked Louisiana ninth in the nation for the rate of women killed by men.
For mom's like Shirley Neal, it's a scary reminder of how fast domestic violence can escalate.
Neal's daughter Jackie was killed in a domestic violence incident in 2005. Now, Neal wants other families to reach out and try and end the cycle of violence.
"Check with your daughters see how things are going. You know because they are afraid to tell. They are afraid to tell," Neal stated.
Neal had a message for domestic violence victims.
"It's going to take your life if you don't get out. Jackie didn't tell us we did not know," Neal exclaimed. "If you are in that just try and get out of it. Tell your family tell somebody. But a lot of the women don't want to say anything."
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence you can call the Louisiana statewide hotline 24 hours a day: 1-888-411-1333. The call is free and confidential.