CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NBC Charlotte recognizes people doing good in the community with our Carolina Has Heart series.
Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we're shining a spotlight on an advocate who witnessed domestic violence at a very young age and is now helping victims and children.
"It took the life of my mother."
Domestic violence changed Pamela Blount's life forever.
"In my situation, domestic violence didn't win. The lives that are being impacted, the people that I get to touch because I get to share the story, it is just absolutely amazing."
As a domestic violence advocate, Blount had over 70 speaking engagements last year, sharing her story.
"When I was 8-years-old, I sat in a room and I watched as my mother's boyfriend stabbed her 13 times," she said.
Blount only has two blurry photos to remember her mother. She turned her pain into purpose by advocating on behalf of children.
"With my story, we didn't have all the amazing organizations that we have now. There's Safe Alliance, Turning Point in Monroe, Anson County has a DV advocacy program there. The Jamie Kimble Foundation who works a lot with children," she said. "We want to let them know how this is something that not just old people go through."
Blount said one of the first signs of domestic violence can be control through constant communication.
"If I hear another teenager tell me, you know, he calls me because he loves me," she said.
Another sign is removing the victim from friends to create isolation.
"Every day here in the United States, at least two people die from domestic violence. That's how serious it is," Blount said.
She said safety planning is key.
"Make sure that you're not just leaving the situation, but you've planned to leave it. So what we do is we sit down with them, and we talk over what it is that they need we go over, the things that they should bring with them," Blount said.
"I don't want to see any more children go through what we went through," she added.
And that's Blount's motivation to stop the cycle of domestic violence.
"Our conversation can no longer be, 'Why doesn't she just leave?' But we have to change our conversation, 'We have to figure out why he/she is hit," she said.
If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.