"They were there when no one else was there to save me," she said. "Without them I would not be alive."
On Tuesday, the 56-year-old Germantown resident will stand alongside Women Against Abuse when the agency launches its annual awareness and fund-raising campaign with a noon news event in front of LOVE Park.
Women Against Abuse will use the event to publicize the October start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, announce plans to open a second 100-bed shelter in Philadelphia, and encourage people to sign a pledge promising to end domestic violence, participate in a walk on West River Drive on Oct. 26, and donate at www.womenagainstabuse.org.
"Domestic violence is one of those elephants in the room that no one wants to talk about. We want people to know that this is a societal epidemic," said Sheldon Jones, a spokeswoman for Verizon, the event's biggest sponsor.
Looking back on her first call on Women Against Abuse, Norris-Jones said she was amazed at how much the agency had grown.
"The first time I went in, the shelter was in a small place that housed eight to 10 women," she said. "It is just impossible for me not to get choked up with how far they've come. But at the same time, it breaks my heart just as much that women are still being turned away, because I remember being one of those women with the phone in her hand and no place to go and feeling so lost."
Katie Young-Wildes, director of development and communications for Women Against Abuse, said much remained to be done.
"We're calling on ordinary Philadelphians to get involved in stopping domestic violence," she said.
According to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, one in four women will be a victim of "severe physical violence by an intimate partner in her lifetime."
Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which was officially recognized by Congress in 1989, has helped erase the stigma of domestic violence, although advocates are quick to point out there is still much work to be done.
Last year, Women Against Abuse said, it was forced to turn away a record 8,900 requests for shelter.