Domestic violence conference giving victims a voice

'Break the Silence' event held at SDSU

SAN DIEGO - Each year, one in three women and one in seven men will become a victim of domestic violence. With such alarming rates, more than 100 people came together for the first-ever "Break the Silence against Domestic Violence" conference at San Diego State University.

Attendees used social media to spread the word about what the warning signs are and how to get away from it.

The group was started by Kristen Paruginog, who survived an abusive relationship. Now, she is reaching out to others and letting them know it is OK to get out.

Paruginog has even been in contact with the families who have made headlines, such as the Gonzalez family. The body of Diana Gonzalez was found in the restroom at San Diego City College in 2010. Her estranged husband, Armando Perez, is accused of killing her.

"For me, I promised their families that I will continue their legacy through this organization," said Paruginog.

It is that promise that caught the attention of Maria Ruiz, who also was in a violent relationship with her boyfriend of two years.

"He told me things that I felt like I was going to die that night," she said. "At that point, I got tired of it."

After meeting with Paruginog, she had the strength to get out and is now sharing her story to help others.

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