Posted 10:57 PM 9/9/2012 : Standing up to domestic abuse, event raises funds
TUCSON - Tucsonans gathered for an important event Sunday night to get a little comic relief and to raise awareness for a cause that is no laughing matter.
This Sunday was the second annual Stand Up to Stop Violence, a comedy fundraiser to benefit victims of domestic abuse.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention 24 people per minute are victims of domestic abuse.
Lee Lashlee said that was her life for 16 years.
"I had many many black eyes," said Lashlee.
She said her husband, at the time, was a charmer, but he had a dark side.
"He'd get angry and kind of shove me, and then it turned into abuse," she said.
Lashlee said she was always making excuses to explain away her bruises.
"I was terrified to leave," she said. "I didn't know how to leave."
She said he was 6 foot 2, a big, strong man and sent her to the hospital after he grabbed her, threw her face down on the bed.
"He pulled my arm up," said Lashlee. "I felt and heard something pop, and I just laid there afraid."
She was afraid for her life.
"He said if I ever left, he would find me," said Lashlee.
But after 16 years putting up with this abuse, she found the courage inside her to leave.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 12 million men and women a year are abused by their partners.
"I wanted to turn a tragedy into something positive and give people hope," said comedian and event organizer Suzie Sexton.
Sexton's sister was a fatal victim of violence.
Her death inspired Sexton to bring Stand Up to Stop Violence to Tucson.
"It's a good idea. I think it's a great cause," said Priscilla Ramos who attended the show.
It's a comedy show to raise money for domestic abuse awareness.
"They are helping raise money for a really important cause," said Shea Sorenson who also attended the show.
Money raised from this show benefits Emerge! Center to Prevent Domestic Abuse and the Blair Charity Group.
The first annual comedy fundraiser raised $1,600.
This year's fundraiser raised over $9,000.
For more information on domestic abuse click here:
If you are a victim, you can call the 24 hour crisis line at 1-888-428-0101.
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