CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jahlil Clements was 11 years old when he ran out into traffic on Interstate 77 to get someone to stop Ethan Chic-Colbert from beating his mom. Instead, Jahlil was hit by a car and died.
Jamie Lee-Hackney, a survivor of domestic violence, wants people to know things like that don't have to happen.
"I understand where that little boy was coming from," she said at a gathering at Charleston's Domestic Violence Counseling Center on Friday.
Two years ago, while Lee-Hackney was being abused and beaten by her second husband, her 12-year-old son would often try to intervene to help. The Sissonville woman is thankful he didn't end up like Jahlil.
On Friday, state Division of Highways workers put up a sign on Interstate 77, not far from where Jahlil Clements was hit while trying to summon help. "Please drive safely -- In memory of Jahlil Clements," the sign reads.
The sign was paid for by the Jahlil Clements Foundation and by the Domestic Violence Counseling Center.
Elizabeth Crawford, director of the center and one of two counselors at the facility, said the center provides outpatient counseling services for female and male domestic violence victims, and also provides counseling for abusers so they can learn how to break the cycle of violence. She said the center counsels about 35 clients a year. They average between 18 months and two years of one-on-one therapy.
Crawford said continuing counseling is the key to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.