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'I can't even believe that's the life I was living,' Domestic violence survivor shares story during vigil to raise awareness |

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'I can't even believe that's the life I was living,' Domestic violence survivor shares story during vigil to raise awareness

LAS VEGAS (KLAS)--Survivors of domestic violence gathered for a candlelight vigil Thursday to raise awareness and stand with those suffering. 

"Looking back, I can't even believe that's the life I was living," domestic violence survivor Natalie Harmon told 8 News Now. 

She suffered through several abusive relationships and now makes it her mission to help others in similar situations. 

"It's not as easy to get out of it as people think," Harmon explained.

Harmon is one of many who gathered for a candlelight vigil at 'The Shade Tree' Thursday to raise awareness and honor those who didn't make it out alive. 

"It happens every single day,' Shade Tree CEO Linda Perez said of domestic violence. "In every single one of our families."

Perez told 8 News now that one in every four women and one in every seven men is a victim. 

"You, someone you know, someone you love," Perez said. "Has or will be affected by domestic violence, if we don't start talking about it."

As of July, domestic violence was the top factor leading to murders in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police jurisdiction this year. 

Therefore, Perez said she wants anyone struggling to know they're not alone. 

"There is no shame, there is no judgment," Perez told 8 News Now. "We want people to make a different choice and we are here to help them do that."

Harmon said she hopes her journey can inspire the strength and courage many need to start over. 

"Even in your darkest days," Harmon said. "There is hope for the future."

If you or anyone you know is struggling, The Shade Tree's 24-hour crisis hotline is 855-385-0072. 

You can also visit their website here: https://www.theshadetree.org/get-help/

For other local crisis resources, you can contact SafeNest here: https://safenest.org/get-help/

The National Domestic Violence Hotline also offers resources for victims: https://www.thehotline.org/

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For more information: https://ncadv.org/2021DVAM