Posted: 11:10 p.m. MST
The South County Coalition Against Domestic Violence held their first ever march today through the streets of San Luis.
One in every four women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
In San Luis, just this year, more than 40 cases of domestic violence have been reported, according to Sgt. Victor Figueroa. But authorities say there are many more cases that go unreported.
"There's a lot of taboos in talking about the issue. It's something that's really common," said Flor Ibella Redondo of Campesinos Sin Fronteras. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about."
The organizers of the event want to let people know there are resources to help people out of a bad situation.
"Don't be afraid, we're here to protect you," said San Luis Police Chief Arturo Ramos. "We're going to do everything possible to assist you. We have a lot of agencies that are willing to help us out. And you're not alone, we're here to help you."
Following the march, local organizations were outside the San Luis City Hall to give information about domestic violence. The group Campesinos Sin Fronteras put on a skit with a scenario mirror what, they say, happens every day in Yuma County.
Not all abuses are physical. Many people are afraid to leave their abuser because victims often feel they cannot make it on their own, or they are too embarrassed to report the abuse, Ramos said.
"Based on my experiences growing up, a lot of domestic violence within the families--it's a lot of pride involved, and there's a lot of embarrassment with the family," Ramos said. "The family doesn't want anyone to know."
In 15 percent of reported cases, men are the victims, and feelings of shame often keep them from reporting abuse, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
"There's a lot of machismo, not only here in San Luis, but all of Yuma County, and all around the nation," Redondo said.
If you need help, you are urged to call your police department or one of the many local agencies that can help, such as Amberly's Place and The Healing Journey.