SIMSBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – Domestic violence is a public health crisis, and it often leaves victims suffering in silence.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 12 million people experience some form of domestic violence each year.

Interval House in Hartford is an organization that is working to end domestic violence.

“We have a 24/7 hotline, we have a 25-bed safe house, we have advocates who work in our courts and we do community education,” said Mary Jane Foster, the president and CEO of Interval House.

Interval House held its annual Breakfast with Champions on Wednesday morning at The Riverview in Simsbury, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The purpose of the event is to shine a light on a dark world, where abuse is not just physical, but mental.        

“I was frankly hiding in plain sight. I had no idea I was a victim. One in four, I was one in four,” said Morgan Ferraotti, who is a survivor of domestic violence.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin (D) attended the event and discussed the city’s involvement in domestic violence prevention.

“Our team at the Hartford Police Department works hand in hand with the team at Interval House, but beyond that, we’ve worked more recently to build a new partnership that focuses on breaking the cycle of domestic violence,” Bronin said.

The price tag of helping survivors of domestic violence has soared, according to the CDC. The United States currently spends $9 billion on direct care, law enforcement and court proceedings for domestic violence.

Foster said domestic violence worsened during the pandemic because victims were trapped at home with their abusers.

“Remember, you weren’t going to work, you weren’t going to your house of faith, you weren’t going to the grocery store, so the tensions mounted,” Foster said.

Interval House wants to reinforce that there’s no excuse for abuse and there is help available.

For more information about Interval House, you can visit the website here. You can also reach the 24-hour hotline at 860-838-8467.