FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Dozens of local church leaders came together on Thursday to continue the fight against domestic violence in the Central Valley.
The Marjaree Mason Center organized the event. Executive Director Nicole Linder says it shouldn’t just fall on the police to stop the cycle.
“For many people, their faith leader is their primary source for support and guidance,” said Linder.
Pastor Eli Loera with Family Christian Assembly says he works closely with domestic abuse victims but wants more church leaders to know the signs, symptoms, and resources available.
“Somebody has got to walk with them through that somebody has to help them before a tragedy does happen,” said Loera.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer spoke at the event. He said when abuse occurs the church plays an important role but police intervention can save lives too.
“When people remain in those relationships where domestic violence abuse is occurring often times it gets worse and the injuries become more severe and ultimately it could result in death,” said Dyer.
Jenn Fries is a domestic abuse survivor. She spoke about her story and revealed that her church didn’t help her when she came forward, but the Marjaree Mason Center did.
“My story itself, I am amazed every single day of how far we have come, and what I am able to do and help others,” said Fries.
Fries has since set up a faith-based organization to help domestic abuse survivors: ‘I Am’s Beloved Inc.’