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INDIANAPOLIS — Sadly, more central Indiana Hoosiers have been killed in domestic violence relationships this year than in at least the last 15 years. This year, 34 people were killed under these circumstances in our area, which is triple the number of lives lost last year.

“Domestic violence should never be an uncomfortable topic; this should be a very comfortable topic,” Amber Jaquez said. “It shouldn’t be swept under the rug in any situation. It’s nothing to be embarrassed of or nothing to hide.”

Jaquez lost her 20-year-old sister Autumn Garay last November allegedly by her ex-boyfriend. Autumn’s family said she suffered abuse for years and they did not know the extent until it was too late.

Jaquez shared Autumn’s story during the annual Domestic Violence Network’s commemoration ceremony when the victims are honored.

“She was just priceless, and she wanted to truly make this world a better place,” Jaquez said. “She really cared about people and she wanted to make this world a safe and comfortable place.”

DVN’s Executive Director Kelly McBride refuses to let victims die in vain.

“I want people to know that you don’t have to live in a domestic violence relationship,” McBride said. “There is help available, everyone deserves a safe and healthy home. Please call 211 to be connected to an advocate nearest you.”

Amber also promises to do all she can to help victims and survivors seek justice.

“You will come across people like us today who are willing to fight to ensure that you are held fully accountable for those actions,” Jaquez said.

Domestic violence resources

For people in domestic violence situations in need of help, there are several resources in the Indianapolis area that you can reach out to for assistance, including:

You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 (SAFE) or visit their website to learn more.