'When someone you love hits you, it's not so clear-cut'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Survivors of domestic and sexual violence shared their stories with others in Eugene Wednesday, opening up a discussion on the serious issue and the effects felt the world over.

The Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence hosted the seminar at the Eugene Hilton, giving people helpful advice on how to avoid and prevent violence in their lives.

One of the speakers brought up a 2010 Centers of Disease Control survey found 1 in 3 women in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and or stalking by an intimate partner.

"We had a spike in domestic violence homicides right around the economic downturn in 2010," said Vanessa Timmons, the Executive Director of the Coalition.

Our reporters talked with one domestic violence survivor, Carolyn Avecedo, who is using her experience as a way to educate others.

"I've been strangled to the point of passing out, several times," Carolyn said, "But I've come into myself and into my power. I'm in control of my world, my life, and my destiny."

Timmons said the CDC's statistic has dropped since 2010, but they see domestic violence as a national problem. She calls domestic violence an intimate crime.

"When someone you love hits you - when someone you love violates you, it's not so clear-cut. Know that you're worth it and it's never a victim's fault," said Timmons.

The coalition offers community-based sexual violence prevention programs across the state. Advocates come together twice a year for training on how to support victims.