CINCINNATI - Beth Durbin is the lead singer of a local band, so that gives her a voice to speak out on a lot of issues, including one's she familiar with - domestic violence.
"I was 6 years old when I was sexually abused by my mother's boyfriend," Durbin said. "I didn't know what sex was."
Durbin remembers that she withdrew and went silent.
"I became very distant and I became very quiet," she said.
Now she volunteers with a group called A Voice for the Innocent, which encourages domestic violence victims to talk, not be silent.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Durbin's band, GlassWorld, was one of 11 acts that performed at a fundraiser for AVFTI Saturday night. It was the fifth annual Speak Up Cincinnati at The 86 on Vine Street.
Jamie Sivrais, who founded AVFTI, talked about its goals.
"Remove the stigma of people talking," he said. "We know that 63% of rapes go unreported. A lot of that comes with the shame or the guilt that comes with that or the way that we talk about sexual violence.
"A lot of times people who have been affected by these things may feel alone, may think that they're the only ones that something happened to, and when we start talking and hearing each other's perspectives, that's very much not the case," Sivrais said.
AVFTI provides an online space for victims of sexual abuse or rape to share their stories.
"AVFTI.org -- that's where we send people who may have a story they want to share. It's free. It's totally anonymous," he said
Durbin now writes her story in her music and hopes she encourages others to speak up.
"I think it gives people bravery to kind of come forward and to say, 'Hey! She's up there and she's talking about this issue,'" she said.
"It's inspiring that my words, my lyrics, my stuff is getting to someone and helping them."
You can find AVFTI on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AVoicefortheInnocent