RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — For the fourth year, the Village of Rantoul held their Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil on Thursday.

Purple ribbons were hung in the front of Rantoul’s Municipal Building to show support to victims and survivors of domestic violence. The observance gave people an opportunity to remember and honor them. The Rantoul Police Department has taken 449 domestic violence calls this year alone, so people in the community came together to figure out a solution to what leaders are calling an epidemic.

One survivor shared her story after trying to leave a relationship multiple times before finally getting out.

“He pulled a gun on me, and I saw the bottom of the barrel of the gun, and then he pulled it on himself,” Shauna Boatright said. “And in that moment, I did not call the police.”

Boatright said unfortunately, that’s the case all too many times in domestic violence cases. Now she’s a social worker helping other women and men who are living through similar circumstances.

Organizers said they want Rantoul to be a refuge for domestic violence survivors.

“We try to involve many in the community and try to reach out to the diverse community for involvement and participation,” Organizer Deb Sweat said. “Domestic violence is not just among one culture, one race. It is across the board.”