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5K Walk/Run in Forest Park For Domestic Abuse Awareness

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- It's estimated between 1 to 3 million women are abused every year by an intimate partner.  And the numbers are probably much higher because many never report it. But one organization is trying to offer hope to those suffering in silence.

With spring in St. Louis came a near epidemic of deadly domestic violence. In early March the homecoming queen and valedictorian at Vashon High School was strangled, police say by her ex boyfriend.

Two weeks later a Missouri probation and parole officer was fatally shot outside a hair salon in Vinita Terrace. Her husband was arrested for the crime.

Then in May, firefighters responded to a house fire in south St. Louis and a found a mother, grandmother and baby all dead from gunshot wounds. Police say the baby’s father pulled the trigger.

 Madeline Long-Gill is a St. Louis homicide minister for St. Louis and was at all three crime scenes. But she was also personally familiar with the victims.

 As the president of Every Step Counts, she had counseled the women, who were all trying to leave abusive relationships.

Every Step Counts partners with more than a dozen agencies to provide the help and services needed to get a victim to a safe place.

And with statistics showing 1 in 3 women will face domestic abuse chances are someone close to you is living in fear.

Madeline knows all about the suffering, she was physically abused by her first husband. It took her husband nearly killing her young daughter to force her to leave.

This weekend you can bring awareness to domestic abuse by attending a 5K walk and run in Forest Park.

The event is also open to men. The CDC reports more than 800,000 men are abused every year by their intimate partner.

The event begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the upper Muny parking lot in Forest Park.