The city of New Bedford and the New Bedford Women's Center marked the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month Thursday night with an annual tree lighting ceremony outside City Hall.

Women's Center executive director Pamela MacLeod-Lima says she is beginning to see improvement, but more is still left to be done.

"Talking about it is the beginning but I'd like to think we're at more than just the beginning. We began this journey back in 1973 at The Women's Center but it will take a societal change, which means we have to change the attitudes and the behaviors," MacLeod-Lima said during the ceremony.

Also sharing their thoughts on spreading awareness were Mayor Jon Mitchell, Bristol County DA Thomas Quinn, NBPD Captain Joseph Cordeiro, and City Councilors Joe Lopes and Debora Coelho.

Greg Desrosiers/TSM

Later this month, the White Ribbon Campaign is hosting an event titled Men for Change at Slainte Irish Pub on October 22nd. The event will allow men to sign a pledge to stand against domestic violence. The Women's Center will also be holding their annual candlelight vigil outside City Hall on October 27th.