NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Advocates for domestic violence victims see a silver lining in disturbing new video showing the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice knocking his then-fiance unconscious.

“People are more open… to actually see this is real, it’s actually happening,” said Aida Mitchell, who escaped an abusive marriage herself 10 years ago.

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The video reminds her, for many women, the violence hasn’t ended. “It just hits really deep inside of my heart,” she said.

Now a board member with SafeHaven, she sees the video as an opportunity to raise awareness.

Executive Director of the Genesis Women’s Shelter, Susan Jenevein, agrees the video could prompt more outrage and more action.

“It’s so hard to imagine, we don’t want to believe that that’s true. And, actually seeing it, makes it impossible to not believe it,” she said.

Jenevein says, people can donate to local shelters, volunteer their time, or simply speak up. “You could tell someone at work I’m worried about you – and not be afraid to start that conversation. You could save someone’s life.”

Give a one-time donation, make regular contributions, donate in honor of a loved one, consider an organization in your estate planning, or sponsor an event.  Just $25 can pay for a woman’s hospital visit after an assault.

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support
The Family Place
SafeHaven of Tarrant County

Serve a meal at a shelter, organize a donation drive, work at a thrift shop, provide career mentoring, engage children in organized activities, or answer phones at a hotline.

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support
The Family Place
SafeHaven of Tarrant County

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Help stock closets to meet the immediate needs of women and children entering a shelter – or help a thrift shop raise money by selling your gently used goods.

Berry Good Buys
1701 W. Berry Street, Fort Worth

Arlington Resource Center
401 W. Sanford St. 140, Arlington

The Family Place Resale Shop
11722 Marsh Lane, St 354, Dallas

Genesis Benefit Thrift Store
3419 Knight Street, Dallas

SafeHaven has a list of things to watch for signs of abuse.

·         Strict control of money, friends, appearance
·         Excessive texts and calls
·         Verbal insults in front of other people
·         Extreme jealousy
·         Fear in the eyes and actions of a victim
·         Isolation from family and friends
·         Frequent cancelling of plans at the last minute
·         Unexplained injuries or explanations that don’t quite add up

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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