Alice residents and community leaders gathered at the Jim Wells County Courthouse Thursday for the annual Domestic Violence Vigil to help raise awareness on domestic violence.

The ceremony had several speakers including JWC Sheriff Daniel Bueno, District Attorney Carlos Garcia and County Attorney Michael Guerra.

Garcia spoke about how people don’t want to get involved because it’s not their issue, but everyone should play a part in such a major issue that affects everyone.

Sheriff Bueno and Guerra spoke about the different types of abuse partners can inflict on their “loved ones.” There is physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, cyber-stalking, economic abuse and sexual abuse.

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

“If you feel like you are walking on eggshells around them - constantly watching what you say in order to avoid a blow-up chances are you’re in an unhealthy abusive relationship,” Sheriff Bueno said. “No one should have to endure this kind of pain - the first step is to recognize that you are in an abusive relationship. Abusive behavior is not acceptable, whether from a man, woman, teenager or older adult.”

Sheriff Bueno reminded everyone that anyone can be a victim and it is best to seek help.

Domestic abuse is an all year long issue not just in October, he said.