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Indianapolis woman helping domestic violence victims in high risk areas

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jul 10, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — From October 2018 to May 2019, Indianapolis Metro police officers have responded to 724 domestic violence runs just in the 46201 zip code area — near Washington Street and State Avenue on the near east side. Right behind that zip code is 46218, the northeast side of Indianapolis.

A local woman who is a domestic violence survivor wants to do her part to make a difference in those numbers.

Domestic Violence calls in Indianapolis by area codes (Oct. 22, 2018 to May 24, 2019)

"It started off as a bliss. For the first two years, everything was great," Danyette Smith said describing her previous relationship.

When Smith was 21-years-old, the abuse began with her children's father.

"The first blow to the face, it shifted my cornea, so I currently have two plates in my eyes holding my cornea together," Smith said. "To where it switched to gun violence, I had a gun placed to my head and was told I would be killed if I left him or the situation."

She says it continued for ten years until finally she knew she needed to get help and filed a restraining order and contacted the Julian Center — a safe place for survivors of domestic violence.

"The experience was very scary, just because for me to step into the Julian Center, I knew I was at my final breaking point. I knew I was a woman that was fed up," Smith said. "But I had to tell it all, and I had to put it all on the table, and that's what a lot of women don't do, they still fear walking in there."

Here are counseling and support groups for victims of domestic violence.

After receiving help, Smith started an organization called 'Silent No More,' which aims at helping women, men, and teenagers escape abusive relationships.

"Because I am a survivor… I know the effects. I know the feeling, so therefore we are able to just really grab a hold of them — and grab a hold of them mentally — and let them know this is not what you have to do."

The group is holding its second resource walk, targeting the near east side. This is where police are seeing the highest number of domestic violence calls. IMPD says a contributing cause is an economic factor. A lot of time, people with lower financial means in an area contributes to an increase in domestic violence calls. That's not to say it can't happen anywhere.

"The impact is just to bring awareness to let this community and this zip code know that domestic violence is going on in the community, and we see and hear your cries, even know it's through data," Smith said.

The walk will be held July 20 starting at the corner of Washington Street and State Avenue. The group wants those impacted by violence to know there are resources and shelters available to help.

Here is how to volunteer with Silent No More.