By Jim Melwert

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A new domestic violence center in Montgomery County has been named in honor of a Lower Moreland woman who died violently at the hands of an abusive husband.

Laurel House’s new satellite location is called Nicole’s Place, in memory of Nicole Peppelman, who was killed with a chainsaw by her husband in a 2015 murder-suicide.

Laurel House director Beth Shurman says thanks to help from Nicole’s family, it’s purposely set in a busy shopping center, the Marketplace at Huntingdon Valley on County Line Road.

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“People feel very cutoff from their normal support system, and also feel very alone and ashamed often for being in that situation,” Shurman said. “This is a way to reach out and break that silence.”

Nicole’s sister, Janine Rajauski, says for too long domestic abuse has been a taboo topic, but she says, it needs to be talked about and she stresses the discussion also has to change, for example…

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“Don’t ask why she stayed, asked why he abused her,” she said. “And that is so true, and that is what our kids need to know.”

Nicole’s Place will provide counseling, resources and referrals, also education and training.

Laurel House is based in Montgomery County. It started as a domestic violence emergency shelter and hotline and now offers other services like counseling, education, and transitional housing.

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