ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Marylanders come together in Annapolis to remember victims of domestic violence. It’s an issue so serious, dozens have lost their lives. Now some are pressing for even tougher state laws.

Christie Ileto has more on the growing calls to stop domestic abuse.

Fifty-four candles, fifty-four lives lost in the last year. Henrietta Tambi was almost one of them.

“I was abused, beaten. And thank God the police were involved,” she said.

Her story is one heard too many times in Maryland. Every year, the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence remembers victims by reading aloud their names.

“We think this is a critical time both to remember victims and to see what we can do better to prevent these homicides,” said Laurie Duker, Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence.

The video of Ray Rice punching his wife went viral. NFL ads during the Super Bowl followed. The president even took a stance during Sunday’s GRAMMYs.

Ileto: “When you saw some of those ads, could you see yourself in some of those situations?”

Tambi: “I did have some flashbacks that I can relate to that. And I don’t want nobody to go through that.”

Maryland has some of the toughest domestic violence laws on the books, but data shows the number of people who have lost their lives to domestic violence has gone up every single year since 2009.

“Yes, I do think [our laws] are tough enough,” said Kathleen Dumais, (D) District 15.

But lawmakers argue more can be done. Bills heading to Annapolis include expanding protective orders to sexual assault and dating violence victims.

“You’re only entitled to a protective order if you were living together for 90 days, or you have a child in common or you were formally married,” said Dumais.

Making sure no more victims fall through the cracks.

Numbers show, in the last year, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties had almost two dozen domestic violence deaths.

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