A woman is abused every fifteen seconds in the United States. To raise awareness of that staggering statistic, and domestic violence in general, a group gathered Thursday night in downtown Wilmington to take back the night. Holly and Gerry Naujoks traveled from Ohio for the Take Back the Night March and Rally. Their 22-year-old daughter, Christen, was a UNCW student when her ex-boyfriend murdered her in 2004. "She broke up with him. He did not like that and he wanted the power over her," said Holly. Now the Naujoks’ are dedicated to spreading the word about domestic violence and its prevalence in society. This is their fifth year traveling to Wilmington for the event. Holly said, "It's to honor all the women that are in the situation that Christen was in. It's important for people to know that this goes on over and over and over and the terror that these women go though." In recent months, the New Hanover County District Attorney's Office has seen an increase in domestic violence cases. Felony domestic violence prosecutor Joy Alford-Brand said, “I've seen a few more cases come through in the last two months, particularly at the felony level." This was a night of reflection, and hope for the future. ”You don't have to lose your life. You can fight back and you can learn to live your life differently and get out of a situation," added Holly. This was Wilmington's 19th Annual Take Back the Night March and Rally. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
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