WESTBURY - The First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury hosted a conference on domestic violence today in an effort to increase awareness of the problem and show the community there is help out there.

Gloria Wilkins, of Nassau County's Department of Social Services, says there is assistance available to victims of abuse, but the first step is acknowledging you need it.

Megan Wedderburn, of Westbury, says for 25 years she had been verbally and physically abused at the hands of her husband, and it took the murder of Joanna Bird to make her realize she had to put an end to it.

As News 12 Long Island has reported, the 24-year-old mother of two from New Cassel was stabbed to death by her boyfriend after years of abuse.

"When Joanna Bird died, I said, 'I won't be the next victim,'" Wedderburn says. "I had to take a leap of faith."

People in need of assistance are urged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.