LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The stats are alarming. According to Nicole Lopez, with Faith House of Acadiana, one in four women and one in seven men are affected by domestic violence.

“This is a very unfortunately common issue and it touches all areas of life. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, where you’ve grown up, where you live, it can touch you, your neighbor, your child, your sister, brother, family member, it doesn’t matter.”

And that abuse is happening right here in our state. Louisiana is second in the nation when it comes to female deaths related to domestic violence according to LCADV.

But Lopez says it’s important that people are aware of everything domestic violence can be.

“When people think of domestic violence, they automatically think of physical violence. But it’s not always physical violence, there’s emotional abuse, there’s financial abuse, there is mental abuse,” Lopez said. “So we try to make sure that everybody understands that the signs can go beyond bumps and bruises and black eyes.”

She explains it’s important to keep these other forms of abuse in mind. “Because those situations grow from the mental and financial abuse into physical violence,” she said.

Lopez says she hopes to see a change in response to this month’s awareness campaign. “More people coming forward and reporting abuse. And that the community comes together in solidarity in support of those survivors who have decided to speak up and speak out about their abuse and are seeking safety,” she said.

This, she says, because, “everyone deserves to be loved and to be loved in a healthy relationship.”