FORT MYERS, FL--A local group is taking a stand on a crime that could be happening right next door. A global campaign is bringing new attention domestic violence and rape in an effort stop the violence.
It's an alarming statistic on the rise; Nearly one out of three woman will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. That equals to one billion woman violated.
"Rape is not a topic that comes up at the dinner table," said rape victim Tonda Soisson-Lawson.
"1 in 3 woman will be raped or beaten in their lifetime," said Street-Chicks founder Leslie Robinson.
That is a statistic that the Abuse Counseling and Treatment center is trying to lower. ACT stood up tonight for "One Billion Rising" which is a worldwide event to stop violence against woman and girls.
"I think it is important to educate people what's really going on out there that this stuff just isn't happening in Pakistan or in India--that it is happening in your backyard," said Robinson.
Marcie Kaveney is a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault and she says talking about what happened to her was the best medicine.
"I am very open about that and i think that it is one thing that led me to be a rape crisis counselor," she said.
Tonda Soisson-Lawson is also a victim of rape and is on a mission to save as many lives as she can.
"We have to change that as a society to understand that victims are not victims by choice," said Soisson-Lawson.
Men can be victims too and the group says we sometimes overlook men when talking about rape and domestic violence. But, keveney says lately with more male celebrities opening up, more men are coming in for counseling.
"I have also noticed in our non-residential counseling, we have had a lot of men in the waiting areas recently," said keveney.
"We are in this together, they are not alone," she said.
All of the proceeds from tonight's event will go to the ACT center. In 2011 ACT provided shelter to more than 500 men, woman and children seeking help after violent crimes.