BOSTON — One in every four women and one in every seven men will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime.
Driven by harrowing statistics, a local organization, Domestic Violence Ended, or "DOVE," is on a mission to help victims escape the cycle of abuse.
Sitarah Clark, a single mother of three, found herself in that cycle, desperate for a way out. From a young age, Clark got caught up in a series of bad relationships plagued by domestic violence, one more oppresive than the other.
"Most of that time I was looking for some sort of validation," said Clark. "I was looking for love. Affection."
It was only after Clark had her children that she was able to break free and change the pattern of abusive relationships that had snaked into her life.
"I was just valuing myself, I was loving myself," said Clark. "I was proud of myself."
As she got on the right track, Clark was sexually assaulted, an attack that launcher her into an emotional downward spiral.
"It was crushing because it was someone that I love," said Clark. "It was someone that I trusted. It was crushing because it was family."
That's when Clark found DOVE, a domestic violence service and shelter that extended her the helping hand she needed.
DOVE is a 40-year-old initiative that offers emergency services, counseling, legal support and other programs designed to break out women trapped by domestic violence.
All of the services provided by DOVE are free. They rely on state and federal funding to cover the over a million dollars that it costs to keep the programs running.
To Sitarah, and many other victims, the support can be the difference between life and death.
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