THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — It’s a crisis that many people face but is hard to talk about. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in the Bronx, a revamped initiative aims to help victims and survivors.

An NYPD transit officer was murdered by her estranged husband in June. The following month, another woman was stabbed to death by her husband inside her apartment. In March, a mother and her 6-year-old daughter were killed by the woman’s boyfriend. These are just some of the domestic violence homicides that happened in the Bronx this year.

The Bronx has the highest number of domestic violence cases and deaths in New York City, according to the Bronx Borough President.

“The numbers were already high. The pandemic only amplified that and made it so you could no longer sweep domestic violence under the rug,” said Angelina Rosado, a domestic violence survivor and founder of Returning Hope.

To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Bronx Borough President’s Office is re-launching its Domestic Violence Advisory Council — the task force is a collaboration with between city agencies and local organizations to help those suffering in silence and to those who finally get out.

“These stories are painful. They are heartbreaking when you think about the potential that these women, our sisters, had living in the silos of darkness, not knowing that they are victims, that love should never hurt,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson.

Shamara Kelly said she relied on support groups when she left her abusive partner and will now contribute to this initiative.

“What made me really leave was the day he had his hands around my neck and I gasped for air. My daughter was sitting right there watching. My son was in the room crying,” said Shamara Kelly with the ENDGBV Voices Committee.

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office is spreading the word about strangulation as a major red flag. It is often a precursor to a homicide in domestic violence cases. The Bronx D.A. and Borough President have also secured a $1 million grant that will be used over the next three years to provide social services for victims and their families. There will be events held each day of the month to spread possibly life-saving information.

“All crime is devastating, but think about the issue of a crime happening in your home, in your the sanctuary, in the space that you are supposed to feel your safest,” said Melissa Cebollero, senior director of government and community relations at Montefiore-Einstein.

The annual 5K Run/Walk/Roll to End Domestic Violence will be on Oct. 15. The group will be leaving from Grand Concourse and 161st Street in the Bronx.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of Domestic or Gender-Based Violence, you can call the NYC 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE, dial 311 or visit the Family Justice Center in your borough. Find more domestic violence resources online.