YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — October is domestic violence awareness month.

About a dozen organizers and community members gathered in York on Monday to kick off the month by talking about what domestic violence is and why awareness is important.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in seven men say they have been victims of severe abuse nationwide.

“I think it’s important for anyone to understand that they have the right to set their own boundaries. If it is controlling, if you know they are being made to do something they aren’t comfortable with they have the right to step back and say you know what this is not a healthy relationship and this is not what I want,” Melissa Plotkin said.

The YWCA York helps domestic violence victims with services like free and confidential emergency shelters, free legal services, transitional housing, and counseling. The organization also has a 24-hour hotline.

The number is 1-800-262-8444.